'Disco Inferno', BRUTUS, Rotterdam (NL)
Disco Inferno is an industrial monster of grinding, pulverizing, producing machines, linked together by a spaghetti of tubes, hoses, cables, tanks and pumps. Every detail here has been carefully thought out and sculpted by Atelier Van Lieshout (AVL). Each welding seam, nut or bolt is a conscious choice. These machines run on almost anything – cooking oil, lard, or homemade pyrolysis oil.
The only useful purpose of this complex installation is that it keeps itself in motion, while the excess heat of giant diesel engines that power all the machines and generators is recycled to supply heat for the project’s ultimate destination ‘the happy end of everything spa’.
In an investigation that moves between fascination, aversion and an urge for more, Van Lieshout tests the limits of power, material and greed. “ As long as we have oil or waste plastic, we can keep dancing on the edge of the volcano” This installation is an open-ended work. It is not a static snapshot of a moment, it will transform with time.
On view at BRUTUS until 19th of November
Thursday – Sunday: 12:00 – 18:00h
Blast Furnace, ART OMI, Ghent NY (USA)
25 May 2019 – Summer 2023
Roof Installation, ROOF-A, Rotterdam (NL)
04 November 2021 – 01 February 2023
50 jaar Ruigoord, Ruigoord, Amsterdam (NL)
21 July 2023 – Summer 2026
Collection presentation Rabo Art Collection, Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (NL)
25 March 2023 – Winter 2023
Successor, Beeldengallerij Haarlem, Haarlem (NL)
1 October 2023 – September 2025
Being Water, Porto Design Biennale, Porto (PT)
19 October 2023 – 16 March 2024
Feel the Heartbeat, Museum Sint-Janshospitaal, Brugge (BE)
16 December 2023 – 1 June 2024
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De Opvolger, Lely, Maassluis (NL)
Farming followed hunting and gathering. What started with the cultivation of small parcels of land ended with the rise of large, professional companies that have found a balance between seasons and systems. Once run by parent, child and helper- today’s farm is high-tech and increasingly run as a business rather than a `family affair’. The helper is still there, but the child more often follows a path that is removed from farm life. Instead, robots now play a central role in farming and Lely is the forerunner in helping to bridge this transition.
Atelier van Lieshout’s De Opvolger (The Successor) pays tribute to the farming family of yesterday, today and tomorrow. This bronze sculpture seems to grow out of the earth and has a robust posture. The figures in this ensemble represent today’s farming family, they are ready to solve any opposition or problem and support their livestock by any means or invention imaginable. The concrete plinth refers to a mound, the oldest architectural tool to secure the early Dutch farmland from the sea.
De Opvolger is permanently placed in front of the new Lely Campus, realized by architect Machiel Hopman of Converse Architects – a destination for innovation and farming of the future. This work is about an evolving craft within the profession, while offering cows the right to choose and live “freely”.
“With this new technology cows get a spa treatment and milk on their own body clock, this is the most humane use of technology, maximum animal rights for all the cows we love . “Joep van Lieshout
Photo made by Nico Alsemgeest
‘Arena’, Nosbaum Reding, Brussels (BE)
24 May 2023 – 22 July 2023
Atelier Van Lieshout presents a new body of work at Nosbaum Reding Gallery under the title ‘Arena’
Art history is filled with dying warriors, from the felled fighter on the battle fields of Ancient Greece to Henry Moore’s Warrior with Shield breathing his last breath. They sacrificed themselves for the people, fatherland or ideology. These heroes know that fighting might end in dying, sometimes even by their own sword to uphold the honor.
The Fallen Warrior series of Atelier Van Lieshout is part of this tradition, with the difference that these sculptures have no fixed top or bottom. They can be placed and read in various ways, representing warriors who won’t stop fighting even when their worldview flips.
Rue de la Concorde 60
1050 Bruxelles, Belgium
Wednesday – Satuday | 11:00 – 18:00
Brutalistische Aap, BunkerToren, Eindhoven (NL)
|The BunkerTower in Eindhoven has officially opened its doors and on this big day they have also revealed the brutalist sculpture that Atelier Van Lieshout has made especially for them.
Brutalism as an architectural style had long been ignored because it was perceived as bulky, bare and almost indecent. But after years of postmodernist frills and bloodless corporate office building, appreciation for straightforward brutalism is on the rise again. Finally, according to Joep van Lieshout, who had never stopped joyfully working with these rough and ready visual forms.
The Brutalistische Aap [Brutalist Monkey] from Atelier Van Lieshout is the suitable mascot for such stylistic durability. Its rough forms are similar to the unfinished concrete of Brutalism, but gently hint at the curves of Art Deco. Strength and zest for life go hand in hand. The geometric shapes that sit on the monkey’s body like architectural bulges emphasize the utilitarian rationality that ultimately drives him.
The brutalist style of the sculpture took its inspiration from the former student centre, the Bunker, which was designed by Huig Maaskant in the 1960’s. Now Powerhouse Company designed a residential tower on top of this infamous bunker.
Photo made by Nadia ten Wolde
‘Through Bone and Marrow’, BRUTUS, Rotterdam (NL)
02 April 2023 – 25 June 2023
We live in the Anthropocene, the age of man. Never before has a single species had such a powerful impact on the environment. Meanwhile, we have become entangled in our own waste and enslaved by our own equipment, and, as a result, our senses have been dulled. We threaten to destroy the planet, but may lose ourselves, our humanity, well before then.
In ‘Through Bone And Marrow’ nearly 20 (international) artists present new, alternative connections between man, nature and technology. They go beyond existing contradictions between organic and inorganic, plant and animal, living and dead. This is led by a new aesthetic that offers space for discomfort, imperfection and the beauty of decay. Together they form an exhibition that gets under visitors’ skin and down to their bones. Curator Maarten Spruyt forces visitors to take a good look at themselves as well as imagining a different interrelationship with nature and technology.
‘Sculptura #1’, Sculptura Festival Brussel, Brussel (BE)
10 February 2023 – 12 March 2023
The steam hammer was invented in Manchester around 1837 and gave a huge boost to the industrial revolution. Once an example of technological achievement, ‘Steam Hammer House’ is now a clear reminder of obsolescence. The interior contains the elements for a home, with a kitchen, an office, a bathroom and toilet in the legs, and a bar, which serves as a hub for social gatherings. It is a workplace where man and machine become one.
‘The Voyage’, BRUTUS, Rotterdam (NL)
07 February 2023 – 05 March 2023
At Brutus Atelier Van Lieshout shows ‘The Voyage’, a group of works that speak about a journey to a better world, an utopia, a place beyond the horizon where the grass is greener. These fictional pioneers follow their hearts, guts and the flimsiest of game plans: anything goes and let’s see what happens. They have no clue where they are going, or what they want to achieve, but they cannot be stopped. Their expedition gear asks more questions than it gives answers, and might cause more problems than solutions; why make a selection when you can bring absolutely everything.
Brutus is host to massive, challenging performances and group and solo exhibitions. With its residency, sculpture park and 6000 sq meters exhibition space, it offers artists time, space and freedom to experiment at a massive scale.
Open Thursday – Sunday: 12:00 – 18:00
‘A Gateway to Possible Worlds’, Centre Pompidou Metz, Metz (FR)
5 November 2022 – 10 April 2023
The American writer Ray Bradbury said: “Science fiction is the art of the possible.” Under the guise of anticipating the future, it speaks to us of the present. It is a laboratory of hypotheses that manipulate and extrapolate the repressive norms and dogmas of today’s world, its ambitions, social afflictions, opportunities and perils. A Gateway To Possible Worlds exhibition brings together over 200 works from the late 1960s to the present day. It puts the spotlight on the bonds between imaginary worlds and our reality with the help of artists, authors, architects and film directors. It builds on current demands for 21st century utopias to spark debate, inspiration and a form of hope.
Atelier Van Lieshout shows a selection of works from ‘Slave City’: Wall Decoration, Urban Plan Slave City, Minimal Steel Red Lights and Board Room Crockery.
‘It’s About Time’, International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, Rotterdam (NL)
22 September 2022 –13 November 2022
Fifty years after the publication of the Club of Rome report, the 10th edition of the Architecture Biennale Rotterdam is taking stock. The exhibition brings historical research (from 1972 onward), inspiring practical examples (in 2022) and future scenarios (towards 2072) together. This overview paints a picture that is both worrisome and hopeful.
IT’S ABOUT TIME hints at the ever-mounting time pressure under which we are trying to counteract the effects of climate change and connect them to other social challenges. The title also zooms in on time and speed as crucial factors in architecture and spatial design processes and appeals to the profession to work effectively to resolve socioecological urgencies.
Atelier Van Lieshout shows the installation ‘The Clock Which Will Solve Every Problem in the World’, including Pendulum.
‘Harmonious Contradiction’, MASA x Sotheby’s, East Hampton, New York (USA)
24 August 2022 – 18 September 2022
Harmonious Contradiction is the third and final summer exhibition at Sotheby’s East Hampton Gallery and the first collaboration between MASA and Sotheby’s.
Harmonious Contradiction is a group exhibition presenting eight contemporary artists producing polished bronze and brass floor works by Mexico City-based MASA Galeria, in conversation with a selection of post-war and contemporary works curated by Sotheby’s.
Atelier Van Lieshout presents a polished bronze work of two abstract figures that are in the process of taking care of a third person. Caretaker Side Table is part of a series of works representing the different human feelings of love, compassion, sorrow, charity, enjoyment and relaxation.
66 Newtown Lane
East Hampton, NY, USA
Open Tuesday – Sunday: 11am – 5pm
‘Utopia’, Château Saint-Maur, Saint Tropez (FR)
13 July – 28 August 2022
Borrowing its title from a work of the same name, “Utopia” is a sculpture exhibition consisting of 10 works by Atelier Van Lieshout at Château Saint-Maur in Saint Tropez. Visitors are invited to journey to a place with neither noise nor news, but perhaps a bit of wine.
An ongoing theme in Van Lieshout’s work, “Utopia” has been expressed in seminal and legendary works such as “Autocrat”, “Women on Waves”, “AVL-Ville”, “Domestikator” and most recently at
documenta fifteen with “Mama-Werner”. In “Utopia” the journey is the destination. In this context, the exhibition satiates that which we may all crave: a different time, space or tempo. This constellation of sculptures perfectly punctuates a promenade or ‘balade’, seducing us with an idyllic escape.
Open daily, 11.00 AM – 7.00 PM
Solo Exhibition ‘Le Voyage’, Le Portique, Le Havre (FR)
24 June – 11 September 2022
‘Le Voyage’ is about a journey to a better world, a place beyond the horizon where the grass is always greener. The fictional pioneers follow their hearts and the flimsiest of gameplans: anything goes and let’s see what happens. They have no clue where they are going, but they are going, roaming in search of paradise or the next utopia, ready for anything. Their expedition gear take all-purpose and all-inclusive to the next level. Why make a selection when you can bring absolutely everything, from questionable toolkits, an overly large cooking station to a shrine and prosthetics. Luxury is found in abundance, not in quality: the packs are made with suboptimal materials and assembled in a happily chaotic manner.
Click here for more info.
‘MAMA Doc Space’, documenta fifteen, Kassel (DE)
18 June 2022 – 25 September 2022
At Documenta 15, Más Arte Más Acción (MAMA) reflects on climate change and deforestation, connecting knowledge and experiences gained in Colombian rainforests to the forests of Germany. During Documenta’s 100 day duration, artists, activists and people from MAMA’s ecosystem will reflect on how monoculture and climate change have resulted in mass bark beetle infestations in central Europe. Most of the programme will take place in and around the MAMA Werner, a mobile platform for social interaction created by Atelier Van Lieshout and adapted specifically for this occasion.
AVL’s contribution to Documenta 15 is a caravan headed by the MAMA Werner, a powerful vehicle with a trailer that functions as a documentation centre and library. An attached tent provides space for workshops, screenings and other public activities. A 14-metre diameter table will be used for debates and communal gatherings. Behind the trailer sits a pyrolyser, that transforms waste plastics into diesel using thermal decomposition. The installation is completed with the Excrementus Megalomanus, a composting machine that turns human excrement and other bodily fluids into fertilizer. It is outfitted with a toilet and specially designed receptacles for vomit, urine and semen.
Click here for the full program.
Supported by the Mondriaan Fonds.
‘Living the Habitat’, Open House, Geneva (CH)
11 June 2022 – 28 August 2022
OPEN HOUSE is an exhibition that showcases innovative and original forms of habitat through projects from the fields of art, architecture, design and humanitarian aid in the beautiful Parc Lullin in Genthod on the lakefront, 15 minutes from Geneva.
Drop Hammer House represents destruction, recycling and production in a circular economy. It celebrates senseless destruction by violently smashing things. The resulting debris is used to make new sculptures. On top of the ruthless wrecking machine sits the Venus Room, named after the goddess of love, who stands at the beginning of all creation.
‘De Verleiding’, Bosch Parade, ‘s Hertogenbosch (NL)
16 June 2022 – 19 June 2022
Bosch Parade 2022 is the 9th edition of this extraordinary art manifestation on the water with Hieronymus Bosch as its inspiration. This year’s theme is ‘seduction’. From 16 to 19 June, it promises once again to be an inspiring cruise of the absurd through the historic centre of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, with nineteen idiosyncratic works of art in and on the water.
Atelier Van Lieshout has built an enormous Hammer, which smashes through the water with a compelling heartbeat. With thunderous blows, the hammer, like a floating rat catcher, lures Bosch Parade to follow it. From 26 May. Atelier van Lieshout will also be exhibiting a number of impressive artworks and sculptural installations, such as the Wellness Skull, Le Foot, Invisible Hand and House of Transition, in the Garden of Earthly Delights, the breeding ground at the Citadel where the artists are working on their objects for the Bosch Parade.
Le Foot at the Garden of Earthly Delights. Photo and credits: Kleurstof
‘Light in the Darkness’, Krinzinger Schottenfeld, Vienna (AT)
09 June 2022 – 27 August 2022
We live in dark times, with war raging on the EU’s border, more refugees than aid organizations can handle, the smouldering threat of Covid returning in a different guise and the climate crisis looming over us. Joep van Lieshout of Atelier Van Lieshout (AVL) provides some light as the torchbearer of radical change. As a participant in the current documenta exhibition in Kassel, AVL presents a mobile platform for communal action and critical interaction. The exhibition ‘Light in the Darkness’ fulfils Van Lieshout’s mission to enlighten more literally by presenting a wide selection of lamps.
‘The Head’, University of Twente, Enschede (NL)
To celebrate its sixtieth anniversary, the University of Twente unveiled a special work of art on Thursday, 19 May: The Head. This 10-metre tall creation by artist Joep van Lieshout has been given a prominent place at the entrance to the university grounds.
Visitors can not only see the work of art from the outside, but can also climb into it. A narrow staircase takes you to a platform on top of the head, where you have a view over the campus on the one hand and the Kennispark on the other.
The Head marks the possibilities and dilemmas on the eve of the fourth industrial revolution, when the boundaries between the physical, digital and biological worlds are blurred. The sculpture is a monument to the waning of human dominance. A totem that marks the crossroads where we are now and a lookout to the future.
Visit The Head at:
Drienerlolaan 5, 7522 NB Enschede
‘VOORLOPERS’, Paleis Soestdijk, Baarn (NL)
13 May 2022 – 14 August 2022
From 13 May to 14 August the Park of Paleis Soestdijk will be open for the public to visit the contemporary art exhibition VOORLOPERS (PIONEERS). Contemporary artists, renowned and new pioneering talents, will address within the exhibition topcial issues such as bio-technology & bio-design, sustainability & recycling, but also the changing view on heritage.
Atelier Van Lieshout’s Darwin will be shown at Paleis Soestdijk. This extremely enlarged purple sperm cell represents the drive for survival, both biologically and socially. Inside is a bed and a small desk, suggesting a think tank to hatch a strategy to remain the fittest and stay on top. The architectural sculpture is part of an exhibition presenting a select group of Dutch pioneer artists.
Tuesday – Friday: 11.00–17.00
Saturday and Sunday: 12.00–17.00
Get your tickets here.
‘The Whale’, Arts Le Havre, Le Havre (FR)
3 June 2022 – 2 September 2022
Le Havre Beach, Le Havre (FR)
As a prefiguration of A SUMMER IN LE HAVRE, AVL has chosen to create a great sperm whale, at the request of the Grand Casino du Havre inspired by Herman Melville’s philosophical novel, Moby-Dick.
AVL strives to present the sea as the true theatre of the human comedy: suffering, evil, pride, madness, tyranny—feelings that Melville personified in the character of Captain Ahab, who saught revenge on the giant white whale that had robbed him of his leg in the past.
This monumental installation is also a manifesto on the power of nature that Jonah had also experienced. The Biblical character had angered God by his disobedience and, as punishment, was swallowed by a whale (literally a great fish) in which he remained for 3 days and 3 nights.
The Whale illustrates both Ahab’s nemesis and Jonah’s imprisonment. Made of steel, a metal created and welded by man, this whale is not slaughtered for its whale oil, as of old, but rests on beach pebbles like a careened ship. A seated man can be seen through the portholes. Is it the artist, Jonah praying for his salvation or captain Ahab questioning his behaviour. Thus presented, the work embodies both human ingenuity and unconquered nature. This is where all its ambiguity lies.
Atelier Van Lieshout artwork on display: The Whale (2022)
Follow Arts Le Havre on Instagram.
Atelier Van Lieshout Webshop
Get your ass on your own Atelier Van Lieshout!
Rules and regulations are wasted on Joep van Lieshout. Ever since becoming a professional artist in the 1980s, he has attacked the art world’s conventions. Alongside unique, non-functional, authentic works, he has produced architecture, furniture and machines.
Some of the furniture is not only beautiful and meaningful, but also very functional. It’s a democratic form of art, accessible to all, yet fulfilling domestic functions. You can have a mind-blowing vision right in your living room and sit on it. And now the furniture is internationally available through this webshop.
Go to www.ateliervanlieshoutshop.com and look for yourself!
SOLO EXHIBITION ‘EHBO’, Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam (NL)
Atelier Van Lieshout has transformed Galerie Ron Mandos into a surrealist parallel universe. Makeability – as an ideal – reaches its apex here, overachievement resulting in perverse hyperbole. It’s a confrontation with life itself: the failure, the triumph and the inevitable collateral damage.
EHBO feels like a cross between a field hospital, labyrinth and sculpture garden in which religious iconography gets mixed up with all too human and post-human images. This installation is not for the impassive viewer, here the audience must wander amongst every level of human experience
Galerie Ron Mandos
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Open Wednesday – Saturday | 12:00 – 18:00
Sunday | 12:00 – 17:00
Book your timeslot here.
‘Imagine’, ArtZuid 2021, Amsterdam (NL)
29 May 2021 – 17 October 2021
The Amsterdam Sculpture Biennial presented an exhibition to experience featuring over 80 figurative sculptures and spatial art installations. The heart of the exhibition lies in Berlage’s monumental Plan Zuid area with its leafy avenues Apollolaan and Minervalaan. This green space served as a backdrop for the theatrical grouping of modern and contemporary figurative sculptures which were interspersed with interactive spatial installations. ARTZUID 2021 included an extensive peripheral programme of activities including artist talks, an educational programme and art walks. Every edition the free exhibition is open 24/7.
‘Het Labyrinth’, Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven (NL)
16 October 2021 – 24 October 2021
At Dutch Design Week 2021, architect and former chief government architect Floris Alkemade will present an exhibition in the form of a labyrinth on behalf of the Board of Government Advisors and together with World Design Embassies.
The labyrinth represents ‘the art of changing direction’. It is about exploring new ways of observing, thinking, and acting. The labyrinth consists of three parts. The first part is about social changes and the search for solidarity. The second part is about our desire for control in uncertain times – for better or for worse. And the third part is about our ability to dream and imagine brighter futures, and a call for joint action based on solidarity.
Floris Alkemade is one of the three DDW Ambassadors of 2021. The labyrinth is part of World Design Embassies and can be visited from 16-14 October at Dutch Design Week (DDW) in Eindhoven. The exhibition is located at the heart of the design festival, in Klokgebouw at Strijp-S.
Atelier Van Lieshout artwork on display: Rider of the Apocalypse (2020)
‘OIL, Beauty and Horror in the Petrol Age’, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg (DE)
No other substance has shaped societies in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries as much as petroleum. Airplanes, tanks, and spacecraft, motorways, shopping malls and suburban settlements, nylon stockings, mountains of plastic, and vinyl – key materials and technologies, lifestyles and visions of our time owe their existence to the energy density and transformability of oil. Now, however, the dusk of the “petrol age” is looming, whereby neither can its end be precisely dated, nor its consequences adequately assessed. The exhibition Oil. Beauty and Horror in the Petrol Age therefore takes a speculative, poetic look back at the presence of the modern age of petroleum, which has lasted for roughly one hundred years. From the distance of a hypothetical future, we ask what was typical of our time, what was great and beautiful, what was ugly and terrible, and how all this is reflected in art and culture.
Atelier Van Lieshout artwork on display: Naphta Cracker (2012)
‘Fake Me Hard’, AVL Mundo, Rotterdam (NL)
30 June 2021 – 15 August 2021
On the cutting-edge of art and technology, FAKE ME HARD explores the complex reality of the 21st century with futuristic installations by over 40 artists, performances, and debates. Visitors await an uncanny landscape that they can enter safely, each with their own fake profile. Music-making robots set the tone playfully and with humor. A low hanging light haze leads the way. Do algorithms determine what is fact or fiction? Are human narratives slowly becoming irrelevant? How to survive the post-truth society?In the year 2021, we can no longer afford to feign that technology is neutral. In these times of deepfake videos and populism, it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference between ‘real’ and ‘not real’. See the promo video here.
Thursday – Sunday 12.00 – 22.00 Keileweg 18, RotterdaTickets
Atelier Van Lieshout artwork on display: Sacrifice (2020 – ongoing)
’50th Edition’, IFFR, Rotterdam (NL)
2 June 2021 – 6 June 2021
Bringing your favourite film to the market square, Atelier Van Lieshout’s Werner – Guerilla Cinema is a cinema on wheels visiting neighbourhoods in Rotterdam. The vehicle, a colossus that balances between tractor and armoured vehicle, has been converted into a mobile cinema specially for the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). The name is a tribute to cinema daredevil Werner Herzog.
Atelier Van Lieshout artwork on display: Werner (2021)