AVL proposes an industrial landscape punctuated by mechanical machines such as bellows, tanks, wheels that evoke the industrial revolution, anything human seems to have deserted the space, the time. This nostalgic evocation renders a contemporary homage to the work of old, linked to a production logic rendered concrete and given structure by a strict hierarchy. A chimney watches over this abandoned landscape, like a sign. In a society that is increasingly dematerialised, AVL aims to reintroduce the tangible values that are work, man, goods. The sculptor’s hand, the mark of his living imprint, a scene forever frozen in bronze, for a Neo industrial revolution.
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. AVL’s projects traverse clean design and non-functional sculptures doubling as habitats, fusing luxury with anarchic independence from conventional living.
Van Lieshout's works have been included in the Gwangju, Venice, Yokohama, Christchurch, Shanghai and São Paulo biennials. AVL is in part of the permanent collections of public and private institutions such as: FNAC, Paris; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Prada Foundation, Milan; Ludwig Forum, Aachen; Folkwang Museum, Essen; Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich.