After its participation in the ‘Design at Large’ section of Design Miami/ Basel with its monumental sculpture ‘The Original Dwelling’, inspired by troglodyte dwellings and mid century avant-garde architecture, Atelier Van Lieshout presents its solo show entitled ‘Bronze’ at the Mayfair space of Carpenters Workshop Gallery. The sculptors will showcase a selection of its best pieces in bronze in the exhibition that will also be part of the London Design Festival (19-27 September 2015).
Atelier Van Lieshout (or AVL) creates pieces that are manifestly functional, for Carpenters Workshop Gallery: organically-shaped lamps that are both sensual and realistic, like The Caretaker and Kiss Lamp, or full of irony like Swing and Pappamamma Lamp Bronze. They also create tables as pretexts for the depiction of figurative scenes as illustrated by Gastronomy and Technocrat Bronze Coffee Table. The choice of bronze as a medium for this collection is not random: this alloy, often associated with antiquity, unconsciously sends us to the Bronze Age, referring to the tribal past of our modern society and telling the story of humanity. In practice, the work of Joep Van Lieshout, the studio group’s founder and leader, perfectly corresponds to the gallery’s approach to art and design: an evolution toward functional sculpture.
The collective’s work is a result of re-contextualization of familiar, domestic objects, which become original works of art without losing their practical purpose. Being focused on challenging conventional ideas of utility and functionality, AVL reinvents the viewer’s perceptions or approaches to an object and its environment. AVL expresses its reflection on humans and their future, individuals’ interdependence with environment and its art. The themes of social ties, family, education, organization of labour, along with the impact of the industrial revolution on our lives, are widely present in AVL’s artworks. Implementation of non-traditional materials help to present such profound and controversial themes as life and death, autarky, politics and power in a lighter, humorous side.
Sculptor Joep van Lieshout was born in 1963 in Ravenstein, The Netherlands. He is the progenitor of AVL-ville, a self-sufficient free-state in the port of Rotterdam named after the studio he founded in 1995. For three decades van Lieshout has produced work that straddles art, design, and architecture; sharing recurring themes of systems, power, life, sex, death, and the human individual amidst the greater whole.
AVL gained international recognition for sculptural installations featuring controversial or sinister nuances. Alongside playful perversion, the work conveys disdain for limitation and longing for freedom. Van Lieshout considers the body to be divine architecture with the viewer invited to interact with manufactured interior spaces resembling internal organs, acting out taboos and wish fulfillment.
His work Sensory Deprivation Skull allows the experience of entering one’s own head, offering a period and place of mental respite. Wellness Skull houses a sauna and a bath within its form, proffering more hedonistic relaxation.
AVL’s projects traverse clean design and non-functional sculptures doubling as habitats, fusing luxury with anarchic independence from conventional living.