The tropes and aesthetics of Sergio Leone’s film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) have inspired much of the identity Joep Van Lieshout invented for his art practice. The eponymous show is now on view at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in New York. Artworks on display are Minimal Kiss Lamp, Bambino Lamp, Humanoid, Domestikator Lamp, Jewel, Venus Lamp, Technocrat Bronze Coffee Table, Embrace, Deer Lamp and others.
From frontier independence and a Darwinian survival-of-the-fittest, to heightened gender roles and violent tonal shifts — the film has become an apt lens through which to view the perspectives he sculpts. Van Lieshout’s work often revolves around the theme of humans in their environment and the interplay between utopias and realities.
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.
Sculptor Joep van Lieshout was born in 1963 in Ravenstein, The Netherlands. He is the progenitor of AVL-ville, a self-sufficient free-state in the port of Rotterdam named after the studio he founded in 1995. For three decades van Lieshout has produced work that straddles art, design, and architecture; sharing recurring themes of systems, power, life, sex, death, and the human individual amidst the greater whole.
Atelier van Lieshout gained international recognition for sculptural installations featuring controversial or sinister nuances. Alongside playful perversion, the work conveys disdain for limitation and longing for freedom. Van Lieshout considers the body to be divine architecture with the viewer invited to interact with manufactured interior spaces resembling internal organs, acting out taboos and wish fulfillment. AVL’s projects traverse clean design and non-functional sculptures doubling as habitats, fusing luxury with anarchic independence from conventional living.
Van Lieshout’s works have been included in the Gwangju, Venice, Yokohama, Christchurch, Shanghai and São Paulo biennials. AVL is in part of the permanent collections of public and private institutions such as: FNAC, Paris; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Prada Foundation, Milan; Ludwig Forum, Aachen; Folkwang Museum, Essen; Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich.
THE GOOD THE BAD THE UGLY
ATELIER VAN LIESHOUT
CARPENTERS WORKSHOP GALLERY
Ongoing show until further notice
Carpenters Workshop Gallery website
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