Atelier Van Lieshout (AVL) is a multidisciplinary collective in the field of contemporary art, design, and architecture. It was founded by Joep van Lieshout in 1995 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, where the company continues to design and fabricate their widely-exhibited works. Atelier Van Lieshout has attained international recognition for objects-based projects that balance on the boundary between art, architecture and design. Recurring themes in the work of AVL include self-sufficiency, power, politics, and the more classical themes of life and death. The name Atelier Van Lieshout emphasizes the fact that, although Joep van Lieshout founded and leads the collective, the work produced stems from the creative impulses of the entire team.
AVL's most relevant recurring themes are domestication, politics, complex functioning systems, and the re-contextualization of familiar, domestic objects. The Atelier van Lieshout claims to make no distinction between “real artworks” and “just building something for someone.” The studio group focuses on creating artworks whose design principles challenge conventional ideas of utility and functionality by reinventing how the viewer perceives or approaches an object and the environment in which it is placed. This is achieved by the implementation of non-traditional materials and color palettes, odd or unusual subject matter, and through the strategic positioning or locale of the artwork. For example in the 2010 public artwork Funky Bones it is impossible to see in its entirety except at a distance, preferably from above. Moving close enough to actually interact with it produces an entirely different perspective.
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