Atelier Van Lieshout. Bronze
24 Aug — 2 Oct 2015 at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in London, United Kingdom
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.
Atelier Van Lieshout was set up in 1995 in a monumental building in the port of Rotterdam by Joep Van Lieshout, born in 1963, in Ravenstein. Joep Van Lieshout has lived and worked in Rotterdam since 1987. Over the years, AVL acquired an international reputation producing the works that blend sculpture, architecture and design. Atelier Van Lieshout´s workshop, where the works of AVL are being designed and produced, is situated in a large warehouse in the harbours of Rotterdam. The atelier has different departments: fibreglass, sculpture, wood and metal workshops. The designers of different backgrounds and origins are closely involved in the manufacturing process of each product.
Carpenters Workshop Gallery has shown the work of Atelier Van Lieshout since the opening of its first space in London in 2006 and contributed to the production of the pieces.