Atelier Van Lieshout in Luxembourg

Around town

Each year, the installation of a sculpture on the Rond-Point Robert Schuman in the immediate vicinity of the fair announces the imminent opening of our event. This initiative launched in 2020 by the City of Luxembourg and Luxembourg Art Week, is born from the desire to cross the threshold between institutional space and public space by inviting an internationally renowned artist to present a large-scale piece in dialogue with the urban environment. Working in a context of shared space, on an axis of high occupancy, the sculptures investigate one after the other the tensions inherent in the public space.

After Jaume Plensa (2020), Joana Vasconcelos and Maen Florin (2021), and Stijn Ank (2022), Luxembourg Art Week will present a sculpture tour through the city of Dutch artist Joep Van Lieshout for his ninth edition in 2023.

In 1995, Joep Van Lieshout founded his studio Atelier Van Lieshout and has been working under his name since then. The studio exists in Van Lieshout’s practice as a methodology aiming at undermining the myth of artistic genius. Over the past three decades, Van Lieshout has established a multidisciplinary practice that produces works at the border between art, design, and architecture. By examining the thin line between the production of works of art and the mass production of functional objects, he seeks to find the boundaries between fantasy and function, fertility and destruction. Van Lieshout dissects the systems, whether it is society as a whole or the human body; he experiments, looks for alternatives, considers exhibitions as recycling experiences, and even declared an independent state in the port of Rotterdam, AVL-City (2001) - a free state in the port of Rotterdam, with a minimum of rules, a maximum of freedoms and the highest degree of autarky.

Van Lieshout combines imaginative aesthetics and ethics with an entrepreneurial spirit; his work has motivated movements in the fields of architecture and ecology and has been celebrated, exhibited, and published internationally. His works share several recurring themes, patterns, and obsessions: systems, power, autarky, life, and death - each of which traces the human individual in front of a larger whole. This sculpture was controversial even before it was placed in the Louvre in the Jardin de Tuilleries, but was adopted by the Centre Pompidou where it was exhibited during the FiAC (2017).

Van Lieshout’s works have been included in the biennials of Gwangju, Venice, Yokohama, Christchurch, Shanghai, and São Paulo. AVL belongs to the permanent collections of public and private institutions such as FNAC, Paris; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Fondation Prada, Milan; Ludwig Forum, Aachen; Folkwang Museum, Essen; Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich. 

Joep Van Lieshout Ben Kleyn 005
© Ben Kleyn