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Carpenters Workshop Gallery London opens a solo exhibition by Atelier van Lieshout
Atelier van Lieshout, Bambi Lamp, 2017. Courtesy Carpenters Workshop Gallery.

LONDON.- Carpenters Workshop Gallery | London is presenting Lust for Life, a solo exhibition by Atelier van Lieshout, from February 1 to May 11, 2018. After the successful solo show Furnification presented at the gallery in Paris last fall, followed by the Domestikator, a twelve-meter high inhabitable sculpture censored by the Louvre Museum and subsequently installed at the Piazza Centre Pompidou; Lust for Life continues to explore van Lieshout’s recent sculptural experiments to invent a new material vocabulary that questions civilization.

Joep van Lieshout explains ‘Lust for Life is about enjoying life and embracing every part of it. Whether it is life, death, dancing, getting old, contemplating or reproducing, all of those things are essential parts of human life. And of course, it is about having lust all your life’.

Featuring an ensemble of lamps from his ongoing bodies of works, the exhibition intends to reveal the interplay between utopia and destruction. While sculptures like Scarlett Lamp, Dancing Lamp, and Venus Lamp (2017) reflect on the course of life, one of the van Lieshout ‘s recurring theme; Domestikator Lamp (2017), never exhibited before, refers to domestication. The process of how humans want to improve and control the world with ingenuity, creativity, sophistication, technology and persistence. It started with agriculture, followed by the industrial revolution, and now new technologies, like artificial intelligence, genetic manipulation, robotics, and industrial farming. Van Lieshout look at how we push our ethical borders without any real understanding of the long term effects.

In addition to these sculptural lamps, some are more conceptual and part of a larger group called the End Of Everything. Van Lieshout’s fascination with man and machine, environment and consumption, society and systems, have driven him to built a group of raw, industrial artworks such as Hydroform Lamp, Long gaztank Lamp, and Hydroform Prepared Lamp (2016). Gas tanks and heavy steel tubes were pitted against the power of hydraulic equipment, drop hammers, and other self-built machines. These functional sculpture are not the result of a careful design process but are the products of a battle that the artist stages between the human, the machine, and material against the objects, concept, and process that leads the artist to a totally new way of designing products.

This tainted optimism, the urge to destroy and to renew, the interplay between the dystopian and the utopian is what defines van Lieshout’s work. For three decades, Atelier van Lieshout has produced work that breaks the boundaries of art, design, and architecture.

Joep van Lieshout is sculptor, visionary, entrepreneur. Born in 1963 in the Netherlands, at sixteen Van Lieshout was accepted at the Rotterdam Academy of Arts. After graduating, he rose to fame quickly, with projects that travelled between the world of easy-clean designs and the non- functional area of Art: sculpture and installations, buildings and furniture, utopias and dystopias.

In 1995 Van Lieshout founded his studio, Atelier Van Lieshout; ever since, he has been working under the name of the studio to undermine the myth of the artistic genius. Over the past two decades, Atelier Van Lieshout has produced a veritable cornucopia of works which straddle Art, design and architecture. What these works have in common are a number of recurring themes, motives and obsessions: systems, power, autarky, life, sex, death. The human individual in the face of a greater whole. With this body of work, he has exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide.

The human body is a motif that frequently reoccurs in his oeuvre. Joep Van Lieshout has commented that he considers the body to be ‘divine architecture’. For him, to incorporate bold organic structures into all facets of his practice is a natural thing. Jubilee Tree (2009) and Body Table I and II (2009), distort the human form so it becomes an unconventional medium for an everyday object, inverting the principles of function. AVL often depicts sexual organs in works such as Family Lamp (2007), PappaMamma Lamp (2009), and Fertility Lamp (2009), which explore concepts of both life and death.

AVL is also renowned for creating large-scale, freestanding structures, the more recent being Domestikator at Centre Pompidou (October 2017) in Paris, France.

AVL’s work has been widely exhibited internationally, at institutions including Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Fondazione Prada, Milano; MAXXI, Rome; Hayworth Gallery, London; and MOMA, New York.

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