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Atelier Van Lieshout

Introducing our signature artist

We love introducing you to our favourite art and each art’otel serves as a blank canvas to its signature artist. At art’otel Amsterdam, Atelier Van Lieshout is in control, complementing the décor in our public areas and guestrooms with sculptures, installations and furniture influenced by art, architecture and design.


Joep van Lieshout

Joep van Lieshout, who lives and works in Rotterdam, is the artistic mastermind behind Atelier Van Lieshout. Joep began as a solo artist, creating objects in brightly coloured polyester – the material that would become his trademark – from the early 1980s onwards. In 1995 he founded Atelier Van Lieshout. Rules and regulations are wasted on Joep van Lieshout. Ever since becoming a professional artist in the 1980s, he has attacked the art world’s conventions.

The Course of Life

Atelier Van Lieshout creates objects that balance on the boundaries between art, architecture and design, encompassing sculpture, installations, buildings and furniture. Recurring themes in the work of Atelier Van Lieshout are power, politics and autarky, as well as the more classical themes of life, its creation and its end in death. With this body of work, Van Lieshout was ranked as one of the top five most recognised Dutch artists by renowned Elsevier Magazine, and has attained international recognition and exhibited at major art institutions and art collections worldwide.

Throughout art’otel Amsterdam, the recurring theme in the work of Atelier Van Lieshout is the “Course of Life”, and all 120 artworks within the hotel’s public areas and guestrooms have this theme at their core. The Course of Life refers to the different stages of human life, with works focusing on the central themes of life and death, beginning and end, alpha and omega – and everything that lies in between. Some in more explicit ways than others.

Lamp art - artlelier van lieshout
baby and old man art - artelier van lieshout

Behind the artwork

Family Lamp

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Family Lamp shows a parent, a father figure, moving along with his two children. The figure is serving as a beacon, a guiding light for the two small children. Is he taking them towards a brighter future or saving them from the darkness behind them?


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Beeld is one of a series of ritual objects, fertility statues and totems that are all part of the New Tribal Labyrinth series. Atelier Van Lieshout foresees a future world inhabited by tribes, who will revert to rituals to influence nature and the Course of Life.

Female on Bed

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Female on Bed invites you to take your place beside her, to talk, to rest, to sleep together. She represents hospitality and can fulfil all your desires.

Fertility (Old Man with Pram)

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Fertility shows us the full Course of Life, from infancy to old age, from birth to death, from beginning to end. The old man is pushing the baby in its pram, but at the same time he is supported by it, so both are helping each other.

Wall Decoration

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Wall Decoration shows us an entangled, almost abstract, group of human figures. They could be sleeping or may no longer be alive – the end of the Course of Life.

fertility lamp - atelier van lieshout
art by atelier van lieshout
baby on stand art - artlelier van lieshout

Behind the artwork

Fertility Lamp

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Fertility Lamp symbolises the start of the Course of Life: procreation, pleasure, sex. At the same time, however, the work is powerless. The figure is so largely endowed that he is no longer capable of carrying out the deed and is completely led by his lusts.

Skull Chair

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Skull Chair represents the end of the Course of Life. At the same time, however, it symbolises the beginning of all ideas: the intellect. It allows you to enter inside someone’s head without any limitations.


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The Unlimiteds are truly unlimited, moving along throughout art’otel amsterdam and symbolising the start of life, the spark of creation.


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Eénling is a homage to the individual, the lone wolf, who sets himself apart from the obvious path of the Course of Life – a relationship, a family, security. The work is part of the recent New Tribal Labyrinth series, which reflects on our extremely advanced and complex society in which over-consumption and limited raw materials play a crucial role. In Atelier Van Lieshout’s vision, this will lead to the emergence of a new world order, with groups of people organising themselves in tribes instead of nation states. This new tribal world will see a return to farming and industry. Rituals will be re-evaluated and will play in important role in society once again. For these rituals, the tribes will need fertility statues and totemlike objects such as Eénling.

Baby on stand (open)

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Baby on stand shows a newborn on display for all the world to see. One of the greatest moments and the start of one’s life.

Artwork in Rooms

Behind the artwork

Mama met Kind

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Mama met Kind (Mother and Child) shows the bond between a mother and her child and the unconditional nature of parenthood, one of the steps in the Course of Life.

Woman bench

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Joep van Lieshout chose the human figure as a starting point for a series of furniture in 2009. Sculptures were transformed into furniture pieces. On the one hand, furniture has been made out of human sculptures, as is true for the piece Woman Bench, which represents fertility. While on the other hand prints of people themselves were used as casts to create pieces of art.

Artwork in rooms

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The two-dimensional works of art in art’otel amsterdam’s 107 guestrooms show a custom-made, recurring design of nuts, bolts and other similar industrial details. These unique original artworks, created by a special laser cutting technique, represent couples, sleeping together – to signify that when travelling we may miss our loved ones.

Awards for Atelier Van Lieshout

2009 – Stankowski Award
2004 – Kurt Schwitters Award
2000 – Wilhelmina-ring, Sculpture Award
1998 – Mart Stam Award
1997 – Anjerfonds – Chabot Award
1996 – 87.Katalogförderpreis, Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Stiftung
1995 – Bolidt Floor Concepts, 1st prize
1992 – Prix de Rome Award
1991 – Charlotte Köhler Award

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