Since his beginnings, Joep Van Lieshout has chased, changed and shaped the borders of art, design and architecture. In his latest series, RENEGADE, instead of performing the act of either artist or designer, Van Lieshout turns any object that he gets his hands on – even his own existing sculptures - into lamps, making every work as valuable or invaluable as the other.
Venice was itself, once, the centre of European trade, a witness to a millennia of market contraction and inflations. Van Lieshout, like the bygone great merchants of Venice, elevates objects and contorts the market to his own will, rather than bending to it. RENEGADE, by being both functional and accessible, challenges the market while giving it what it wants.
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.