Andre Lassen

The Powerful Art of André Lassen
Sculptor of Fears

by Javier Mz. de Pisón

The Dutch sculptor André Lassen has created his own unique universe, populated by mysterious figures based on Viking myths and allegorical tales. His 1970’s line of jewelry, inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings,” brought him early international acclaim.

At the 1981 Basel Art Fair, Lassen met H.R. Giger, whose painting and sculptures were a great influence, and pushed him to further develop his own artistic vision. Three of Lassen’s works are in Giger’s private art collection, on display at the H.R. Giger Museum, in Gruyères, Switzerland Lassen’s works now include bronze sculptures, swords, daggers, and intricately carved furniture.

Lassen’s multifaceted talent was later confirmed when he branched out into sculpture, furniture design, and in the 1990’s when he created his series of highly original, unique, knives and daggers. He is also an accomplished blacksmith, who forges his own Damascus steel blades and creates one-of-a-kind, sculptural silver handles, cast utilizing the lost-wax method, inlaid with precious stones and scabbards sheathed in exotic skins.

Particularly impressive is a life-size, hand-carved wood cabinet titled “Angel” of a winged warrior in helmet and full armor, with his pet dragon. This complex, functional work of art, designed by Lassen and carved in wood by artisans in Indonesia, swings open at the touch of a hidden latch to reveal an interior of shelves and drawers.

Lassen’s  interest in Gothic architecture and art predates current trends and fashions. By the time he was 10 years old, Lassen was forging swords, daggers, and designing guillotines while apprenticing with his uncle, a Danish blacksmith.

An important influence on his art comes from the traditional Japanese swordsmiths he had studied with, masters of ancient techniques that Lassen learned and uses in his hand-forged Damascus steel weapons. In fact, his knowledge of Japanese armory landed him a consultant and appraiser’s position with the prestigious auction house of Sothebys in Amsterdam.

Lassen’s most surprising pieces are the ones in which he mixes traditional Gothic imagery of skulls and skeletons with his own whimsical imagination, to create works of extreme subtlety and humor.
Lassen’s latest works can always be found looking menacingly out the windows of Tribe Gallery, his studio gallery in the center of Amsterdam.

Inquiries regarding Lassen’s daggers, sculptures and furniture may be directed to his agent, Les Barany

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