When Joep van Lieshout (b. 1963) founded the art and architecture studio that bears his name, he set in motion what has been described as "a new Dutch architectural style... dirty, delicious and direct." Now Atelier Van Lieshout is 10, and the first major monograph devoted to it, A Manual (1997), has been sold out for years. This new overview brings readers into AVL's contrarian applied art via luxuriously appointed "mobile homes," autonomous communes and surreal art projects, with equal time given to AVL-Ville (2001), a "free state" in Rotterdam's port, complete with its own flag, its own constitution and its own currency, and the revealing minutia of AVL's portfolio, from furniture to the "Bar Rectum," a perverse take on the Oscar-Meyer Weiner Mobile. The idea of art that can be used for a self-sufficient and independent lifestyle hits a uniquely high point in AVL-Ville, a culmination of all the work AVL has done before. And it lives on: After a successful and tumultuous year of work, AVL has recently located its first AVL-Ville export product in Park Middelheim in Antwerp: the AVL Franchise Unit. This richly illustrated survey tracks AVL's serious and often provocative portfolio through a crucial period in its growth and development.
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