Happy Anniversary, Atelier Van Lieshout


How do we begin to sum up the enduring influence and effortless cool of Atelier Van Lieshout (and its visionary founder, Joep)? The scope and impact of AVL’s work is frankly immeasurable. So, in honour of the collective’s 40th anniversary and Joep’s 60th birthday, we’re releasing this exclusive interview with the man himself for a taste of his art practice in his own words.

Atelier Van Lieshout on Life, Origin and art’otel Amsterdam

Art in The Netherlands is more than a casual hobby, it’s a way of life. It plays a huge part in the country’s history and identity from OG masters like Rembrandt to Van Gogh and, more recently, Joep van Lieshout. As art’otel Amsterdam’s signature artist, the widely celebrated creative brings an authentic Dutch point of view to every part of the hotel with his uniquely rebellious energy—and that’s just how he likes it. In the last three decades, with Joep at the helm, Atelier Van Lieshout has produced ground-breaking, sometimes controversial pieces ranging from large-scale sculptures to commercial office chairs.  

At its core, the work explores what it means to be human—to have a body, a function, and a life (especially in political and domestic contexts)—and much of that exploration is done through spaces (i.e., buildings, dwellings and communities) as well as the objects within them. So, how would Atelier Van Lieshout approach a hotel? To learn more about one of their biggest spaces to date, we went to the famed Rotterdam studio for a chat.

Can you give us a brief overview of your studio and practice? 

A long time ago I had the thought that art should not only be about one person—it should be bigger than that. So, I started the company Atelier Van Lieshout. We do a lot of different things: sculpture, furniture, architecture and everything in between.  It’s not a collective in the traditional sense where we all decide what to do—I direct that—but we collaborate and use the creativity and energy of everyone working. There are about 20 people working for the studio.  

When did you start making art? How did you find this artistic identity? 

I was 16 when I went to art school. My interest in it started a couple of years before that. I started as a painter, but then very soon discovered I love sculpture much more. I was always the youngest of the class and that also meant I had to find my own way. I was a very different from the group, and that’s what I like and that’s what I still am. You only live once and I really want to take everything from life. 

Have you always been interested in design and architecture as well? How did that interest develop? 

For me, this development was very natural. I have to say my attitude towards design is very much from the point of view of an artist. The designer makes something that a customer wants, and the artist just does whatever he wants. So, I just do whatever I want and sometimes it leads to a usable, functional design. I’m not business-like enough to be a designer! 

You often work at the intersection of contrasting elements—organic and manufactured, functional and aesthetic, etc. Why? 

Well, I am a bit of an anarchist and a bit inventive as well. In my work I tend to use contrast and opposites, like real and surreal, beautiful and ugly, good and bad, and that means in between the two is a lot of space for interpretation. Because, if you really are very specific, there is no way to think differently. I actually see my work as a kind of invitation for dialogue and thought. The unknown makes freedom possible. 

Is there an element that you prioritise or are they all equally important to you? 

I’m always very visual when I make or design things. The visual pleasure for myself is the most important—more important than the concept, idea, or poetry. Of course, what I think is beautiful is also very personal. So, beauty—beauty is the biggest force for me. 

How do you approach a curatorial project? Where do you start when it comes to selecting your work and the pieces you’ll feature? 

It’s really my feeling, my intuition that makes me choose something. And I think that is actually the essence of art, or at least of a lot of art, is that an artist translates intuition into a product that can be seen and interpreted by other people. 

Why did you choose “Course of Life” as the theme for art’otel Amsterdam? What does this concept mean to you? 

Course of Life is the story of a human being as a race and as an individual. It’s the way we are conceived, born, grow up, and grow older. We maybe get children ourselves, have relationships. We continue to grow old and older and then, at a certain moment, we disappear. And I think that story is very important, and everyone can relate to that. 

Stop by art’otel Amsterdam for more information on the Atelier Van Lieshout collaboration, collection, and individual pieces. 

Book Now

Select Date

Please make sure you have entered the highlighted fields above correctly.

Best Online Rates Guarantee

Found a lower rate? We’ll match it and give you an additional 25% discount on your stay.

Your reservation must be made on Radissonhotels.com and claim must be validated by our Customer Care team.

The Best Rates Guarantee does not apply to the following rate types:

  • Qualified discount rates available to members of special programs or associations (i.e. AAA, senior, government, loyalty, employee discounts);
  • Special “exclusive offers” or “online coupons” or email solicitations not intended for the general public;
  • Rates not publicly available, such as negotiated Group or Corporate rates; including group extend-the-stay rates;
  • Package rates that include the room and other components such as parking, travel, car rental, entertainment, or meals excluding breakfast;
  • Rates found on opaque, bidding, or auction sites where the hotel brand, the specific hotel, the hotel location or price is not known until booking is finalized. Examples of these types of sites include but are not limited to Priceline and Hotwire;
  • Any other unpublished or private rates or sites requiring login.

Comparison Rates: The Comparison Rate must be found on a website available to be booked by the general public other than Radissonhotels.com within 24 hours of booking your hotel room on Radissonhotels.com and at least 48 hours prior to midnight hotel local time of your arrival date.

The Comparison Rate must be for the same hotel, same reservation date(s), same room type (i.e. room size and amenities), same number of guests, same currency as the Radissonhotels.com confirmation email, and the same advance payment and refund policies and restrictions must apply.

The Comparison Rate must still be available at the time Customer Care validates the claim.

The rates will be compared net of any taxes, gratuities, or any other fees associated with the room rate; however, if the Radissonhotels.com rate has taxes included, we will verify that the total cost of your Comparison Rate is lower so that prices are compared on a relative basis. Rate disparities solely attributable to rounding, fluctuations and/or difference in currency exchange rates are excluded from the Best Rates Guarantee. Claims will be denied when the difference between the Comparison Rate and the rate on Radissonhotels.com is less than 1USD, 1EUR or 1GBP or equivalent in the local currency of the hotel.

When a claim covers a stay for multiple, consecutive nights, the rates will be reviewed based on the average over the entire stay (the total consecutive nights stayed by the same guest or guests in the same hotel, regardless of the number of check-ins or check-outs or separate reservations). Comparison Rates applicable to only a portion of the reservation will not be honored.

If your reservation meets these criteria, let us know by submitting the claim form.

Customer Care will verify the rate meets all of these Best Rates Guarantee terms and conditions and contact you via email. Once confirmed, we will match the lower rate and discount that rate by an additional 25%. For prepaid bookings, the difference will be refunded on the applicable credit card by the hotel. You may only submit one claim for each stay.

If a new reservation confirmation number is provided for the new rate, it must be presented at the hotel at the time of check-in.

The Best Rates Guarantee is void where prohibited by law.

We reserve the right to change or discontinue the Best Rates Guarantee at any time without prior notice. We retain the sole right to determine the validity of any claim, whether a rate qualifies as a Comparison Rate, and whether a claim has satisfied the terms and conditions stated herein. Any dispute arising out of or related to the Best Rates Guarantee shall be handled individually and without any class action and is subject to the terms of the site usage agreement found on Radissonhotels.com. If the Comparison Rate is reserved through any Website other than Radissonhotels.com, we are not responsible for any fees or other costs incurred due to cancellation of a reservation.

With our Best Rates Guarantee you can book on Radissonhotels.com and be confident you are receiving the best hotel room rate available on the web – guaranteed. If you find a lower rate within 24 hours of booking and at least 48 hours prior to your arrival date, submit a claim and we will honor the lower rate and discount that rate by an additional 25%. Book today!

Who do I contact if I see a lower rate on another website?

  1. Within 24 hours of making your reservation on Radissonhotels.com, visit the Contact us section of Radissonhotels.com and select “Online” contact method and “BORG claim” for topic.
  2. A completed claim form must be submitted within 24 hours of the booking and at least 48 hours prior to midnight local time of the hotel arrival date to be eligible.