Apples (1973) Kees Franse

Otto Snoek
About the artwork

The first Apples maakte kunstenaar Kees Franse in 1973 in Rotterdam. Voor de Heemraadssingel, waar hij ook zijn woning en atelier had, maakte hij vier uit Kambalahout opgebouwde appels. Het werk was de enige aankoop van de gemeentelijke Commissie Beelden in de Stad. De beeldengroep werd na zijn onthulling al snel door stadsbewoners in het hart gesloten. Franse schilderde tot midden jaren ’60 vooral stadsgezichten. In het begin van de jaren ’70 begon hij met het maken van appels uit segmenten van waaibomenhout, sinaasappelkistjes en sloophout. In de jaren voor zijn dood hield Franse zich bezig met het maken van aquarellen van appels en peren, en houten reliëfs gebaseerd op sierlijsten, waar allerlei appels uit steken. De vier Rotterdamse Apples appear to be challenging themselves to climb on, as a result of which they showed local wear spots. Also the Apples after forty years subject to rotting and the wood had to be replaced. Thanks to the efforts of BKOR and a grant from the city council, the Apples recreated in 2014. In Restoration Workshop Schiedam, a company specialized in the restoration of mills, the four were wooden Apples completely re-manufactured based on 3D scans.

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About the artist

Kees Franse (Oud Beijerland, 1924 - Rotterdam, 1982) was a Rotterdam artist. He studied from 1944 to around 1949 at the Academy of Visual Arts and Technical Sciences in Rotterdam. In 1951 he was co-founder of the artists' group 'Argus' with, among others, Louis van Roode and Huib Noorlander, with whom he exhibited together. He specialized primarily in painting, but also made work for the public space, including a colored concrete relief (1962) above the entrance to the current City Archives in Rotterdam. He had a special interest in apples, of which he made huge wooden sculptures. His 'apples' can be found in Gorinchem, Amsterdam, Arnhem and Leiden, among others. His 'Schiphol apple', made in 1975, is famous on which thousands of travelers left their names and messages over the years, and which at that time served as a meeting point.

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