Joep van Lieshout was born in 1963 in Ravenstein, The Netherlands, and lives and works in Rotterdam. Since the early 1980s, he produced objects in brightly coloured polyester, the material that would become his trademark in subsequent years.
Atelier Van Lieshout
He graduated in 1987 from the Academy of Modern Art in Rotterdam. Upon graduation, he quickly rose to fame with functional sculptures that raise questions about society at large and the nature of art. In 1995 he established the Atelier Van Lieshout (AVL), a collective of about twenty artists. Since that time, the Atelier has had a very intensive program of exhibitions in major museums worldwide. They create works that cross the borders between art, design, architecture, sculpture, installations and furniture. The recurring themes are autarky, sex, power, politics and the more classical themes of life and death. Their best- known project is AVL-Ville (2001-02), an autarkic, utopian “free state” with its own constitution and currency, which floated in Rotterdam’s port for one year. AVL works can be found in private collections and have been exhibited in several prominent museums all around the world like the PS1 MoMA and MoMA, both New York; the Stichting Rotterdam Museum; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Kunstverein, Düsseldorf; and the MACBA, Barcelona. AVL has participated in numerous prestigious events including: the Venice Biennale (2003, 2011); The Armory Show (2014), New York; FIAC (2016), Grand Palais, Paris; Expo Chicago (2016). Amongst the numerous awards received have been the Wilhelmina-ring, Sculpture Award (2000); Kurt Schwitters Award (2004); and the Stankowski Award (2009).