ATELIER VAN LIESHOUT
17 March - 7 May, 2011
Atelier Van Lieshout (AVL) is a multidisciplinary company engaging in the production of art, design and architectural realisations both in Belgium and abroad. AVL was established in 1995 by Joep van Lieshout, who previously marketed his products under his own name. The pieces range from sculptures and sanitary units to mobile homes and entire buildings. One of AVL’s favourite materials and at the same time the company’s ‘trade card’ is the colourful polyester. Not only is this a practical and durable material, it is also very recognisable. In 2001 AVL was front page news with the free state it built in the Rotterdam port, named AVL-Ville. AVL-Ville had all conveniences needed in a self-supporting community: a power station and a water treatment plant, but also an arms factory and even a fold-up farm. This large-scale project is still considered one of the highlights in the work of AVL.
Recently AVL’s productions evolved in various directions. On the one hand there are realisations based on the absence of a clearly defined design, such as the large Sportopia unit, developed for the 2002 São Paulo Biennale. For this project AVL used industrial materials such as galvanised steel, scaffolding material and sheets of untreated wood. These projects contrast sharply with the recent, colourful series of human organs: Liver, Kidneys, Genitals and Digestive organs, enlarged to ten times their real size. Furthermore AVL recently produced a series of human figures, among which the so-called Michelangelo’s.