Norton Museum of Art 2024 Gala Auction | Hosted by Sotheby’s

Norton Museum of Art 2024 Gala Auction | Hosted by Sotheby’s

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 4. Crane Bird.

Atelier Van Lieshout

Crane Bird

Lot Closed

February 5, 08:04 PM GMT


50,000 - 70,000 USD

Lot Details


Atelier Van Lieshout

Joep van Lieshout

b. 1963

Studio founded in 1995

Crane Bird

Executed in 2023

Signed AVL003826


Edition 1/8

20 7/8 x 24 x 68 1/8 in. (53 x 61 x 173cm)

Please note that while this auction is hosted on, it is being administered by the Norton Museum of Art (the “Norton”), and all post-sale matters (inclusive of invoicing and property pickup/shipment) will be handled by the Norton. As such, Sotheby’s will share the contact details for the winning bidders with the Norton so that they may be in touch directly post-sale.

Courtesy of the Artist

'The Voyage', Brutus, Rotterdam (NL), 07 February 2023 - 05 March 2023

About Atelier Van Lieshout 

Maverick sculptor and artist Joep Van Lieshout (b. 1963 in Ravenstein, Netherlands) was accepted to the Rotterdam Academy of the Arts at sixteen years of age. His earliest works - Blacksmith Fire (1983) and Operating Table (1984) set into motion an artistic fixation with the means of production and self-sufficiency, wherein objects, constructions and inventions are intended to facilitate survival. Van Lieshout quickly rose to fame with projects that traveled between the functional and non-functional worlds of art: sculpture and installations, buildings and furniture, utopias and dystopias. 


In 1995, Van Lieshout founded Atelier Van Lieshout (AVL) and has been working solely under the studio’s name ever since. The studio moniker exists in Van Lieshout’s practice as a methodology toward undermining the myth of the artistic genius. Over the past four decades, AVL has established a practice that defies categorization. Van Lieshout is as much a carpenter, machine builder, butcher, property developer, farmer, and inventor as he is a sculptor, architect, and artist. His practice does more than simply combine art, architecture and design, it re-writes the very definitions of those disciplines. As a result, AVL’s oeuvre is a large and completely idiosyncratic universe. What appear to be divergent activities form a coherent whole, with each new experiment a logical sequel to the last. 


Van Lieshout’s ongoing projects or large bodies of work - significantly, CryptoFuturismThe End of Everything/The Beginning of Everything, and The New Tribal Labyrinth continue to evolve and expand, often reinvented and probed further.


United by a number of recurring themes and obsessions: systems, power, autarky, fertility, sex, life and death - AVL’s 40 years of artistic output include thousands of sculptures, functional sculptures (from knucklebuster rings to toilets, sinks, interiors of libraries, doctors offices and even embassy interiors) alternative housing structures, buildings, bars, mobile homes, clip-on architecture, ritual objects, robots, biogas installations, poolhouses, distilleries, excel sheets, urban plans, a workshop for weapons and bomb, his own currency and machines that destroy, create, recycle or renew. In the process, AVL continues to invent a new material vocabulary.


These ideologies are manifest in the production methods and lifestyle of AVL - an ethos that is willingly shared via the studio’s DIY-esq manuals (such as AVL for Dummies (2007) and a book about his many manuals, aptly titled A Manual) - as much as the works. In 2001, the studio founded ‘AVL-Ville’ – an independent state in the port of Rotterdam with its own constitution and currency. Along this vein of works that propose improved conditions are A-Portable (2001), Insect Farm (2012), and Domestikator (2015). All of these activities are conducted within Van Lieshout’s signature style of provocation – be it political or material.


Van Lieshout’s works have been included in the Skulptur Projekte Münster and the Gwangju, Venice, Yokohama, Christchurch, Shanghai and São Paulo biennials.  


Van Lieshout’s permanent works in the United States include the iconic ‘Funky Bones’  located in the 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park on the grounds of Newfields in Indianapolis,which played a starring role in the film ‘The Fault in our Stars’; Humanoids - 9 permanent functional sculptures that live at the home of Art Basel Miami Beach alongside MIami Beach Convention Center in Collins Canal Park. 


AVL has exhibited at MOCA, Miami; UFS, Tampa; Pioneer Works, Brooklyn; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Cincinnati Center of Contemporary Art, Cincinnati ; SF MOMA, San Francisco; MOMA PS1, NY; Paris Museum, Watermill NY to name a few.


Van Lieshout work is part of many international collections including FNAC Paris; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Prada Foundation, Milan; Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich, MoMA New York, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Centraal Museum Utrecht, K20, Düsseldorf DE, Folkwang Museum Essen DE , Maxxi Museum as well as in the private collections of Brad Pitt, Jan De Bont,Craig Robbins,Hailey Bieber, Rhianna, Shelley and Phil Fox-Abrahams, John Legend among others.


About Crane Bird

In many cultures crane birds symbolize loyalty, health and wisdom. They are considered messengers of peace and bringers of happiness. In Van Lieshout’s version, with its lamp and little table, this bird also has a functional side. Crane Bird is made up of a whole series of stacked and balanced shapes, organized not by science and industrial standardization, but by life’s irrational, intuitive forces. 


“Everyone deserves a Crane Bird in their life. If everyone would act like crane birds, there would be peace and happiness” Joep Van Lieshout