In the shop of Atelier van Lieshout you can buy this chair, the Koker chair, made by a material amply available in Joep’s Atelier, steel tubes or kokers in Dutch, hence the name “Koker Stoel” for “Tube Chair”
German author Goethe wrote: “It is in self-limitation that a master first shows himself ”. This certainly holds true for the Koker Chair. Joep van Lieshout set himself the task of designing a chair using only the materials available in his workshop. He ended up using square metal tubes, known as kokers in Dutch.
Sensory Deprivation Skull Chair by Atelier van Lieshout
Dutch Atelier Van Lieshout has their Sensory Deprivation Skull on display at Carpenters Workshop Gallery, a new Gallery in Mayfair, London, designated to furniture.
A chair you can sit in with the doors closed and without any disturbance from the outside world.
Even with a cosy sheepskin!
Joep van Lieshout, founder of Atelier Van Lieshout, would maintain it is an object of art, not a chair.
I would not agree and would like to quote the Italian critic and curator Angelo Capasso at Design NL who recently visited The Netherlands in preparation of a Dutch art and fashion exhibition in Rome:
A week of meetings in the Netherlands gave me the opportunity to gain an insight into the art and design scene there. Art and design are the most fruitful couple in the visual world. They give a different interpretation of the visual: as I said in my essay Design and Ready Made, a very simple difference between the two, is that ‘in art, objects pretend to be useless, in design, objects pretend to be useful. The word pretend is very important, in this context, because it underlines a possibility (a wish, a project) that is not necessary fulfilled. Today objects coming from the two different ideas (or projects) seem to be moulded in the same oven but subsequently served to a different table and therefore with a different destiny. In the Netherlands, as I have seen, the two share an interesting debate that makes it difficult to show reasons for their different identity: if generally it is art’s task is to pose questions while design’s goal is that of giving solutions, Dutch ideas show that a switching of these positions is possible. Therefore my short journey through the Netherlands was really a journey through the possibility of finding one main element of distinction between the two, or the elements that combines the two on a different face on the same coin.
About AVL – Atelier Van Lieshout
Atelier Van Lieshout (AVL), located in a warehouse in the Rotterdam harbour, was founded by artist Joep van Lieshout (1963) in 1995. It is a multidisciplinary art practice encompassing installation, design, furniture and architecture. The name Atelier Van Lieshout emphasises the fact that the works of art do not stem solely from the creative brain of Joep van Lieshout, but are produced by a creative team of artists, designers and architects.
The works of art are practical, uncomplicated and substantial. The work varies from sculptures and furniture, bathrooms and mobile home units to large installations and complete architectural refurbishments. One of the many applications and techniques used by AVL are the large polyester constructions in striking, bright colours. These polyester constructions, of which the large mobile home units are the best known, form the AVL trademark. Recurring themes in the work of AVL are autarky, power, politics and sex.
Works of AVL can be found in private collections and several museums.