Joep van Lieshout

Galerie Roger Pailhas

In a period when museum staffers can scrub a bathtub signed by Joseph Beuys, while Donald Judd markets a line of furniture, it is only natural for us to expect comment from younger artists. Joep van Lieshout has abandoned his neo-Minimalist investigations to produce a series of furniture pieces: tables, chairs, and other standardized furnishings. This is not to suggest that sculpture has fallen by the wayside in deference to the utilitarian object. On the contrary, the reintroduction of utility into the most formal Minimalism—the act of reinvesting sculpture with a functional value (which Modernist ideology from Kant to Sol LeWitt has resisted, in spite of Kasimir Malevich’s tea set, Marcel Breuer’s furniture designs, and Beuys’ ecological use of trees) is, for this artist, a highly pointed gesture. In a sense, the overvalorization of the criticism of art’s trade value has throughout

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