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Indepth Arts News:

"Atelier van Lieshout"
1999-06-19 until 1999-08-22
Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH, USA United States of America

When sci-fi meets home improvement, the results may turn out something like Joep van Lieshout's work. Van Lieshout creates mysterious containers, mobile homes, office units, sensory deprivation pods and other quirky furnishings. His enterprising sculptures fall somewhere between utopian fantasy and utilitarian sculpture, all flavored with his unique brand of humor and irony. He distances his personality from his art by crediting his work to Atelier (a French term for 'studio' or 'workshop') van Lieshout to acknowledge its collaborative nature.

The CAC exhibition features new works, many of them interactive, by the Dutch artist and his crew. Tampa Skull is an approximately 7x7x25-foot, mutant mobile living unit that contains a restroom and kitchen, a living area, a den and a bedroom - all open for visitors to explore. Van Lieshout's sensory deprivation pods often have a strong effect on participating guests, sometimes producing feelings of calm and serenity, sometimes denial and isolation.

The exhibition extends outside the CAC's galleries to nearby Federal Reserve Plaza, where two large mobile units are placed for visitors to investigate. Hospital is a fully equipped medical suite complete with a waiting room, nurse's station, operating room, recovery room and all the surgical instruments and supplies that may be needed. Still is furnished with sinks, tanks and measuring devices for distilling your own alcoholic beverages.

The exhibition is organized by the Contemporary Art Museum at the University of Florida and includes a comprehensive catalog. It is the first travelling exhibition of van Lieshout's work in the United States and is supported by the Mondriaan Foundation in Amsterdam, Netherlands.


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