The Welder (1968) Henk de Vos

photo Otto Snoek
About the artwork

An enormous facade relief has been installed at the Beurs metro station, designed by the Rotterdam artist Henk de Vos. The work is located on the end wall at the exit to Binnenwegplein and Westblaak. The relief depicts a welder in a recumbent position and is composed of elements of left rough, gray Bavarian granite. These rough blocks sit above a dark surface of polished and decoratively worked granite. De Vos probably wanted to refer to the workers who built the metro line in the years prior to the opening of the metro station on February 9, 1968. The relief initially received natural grazing light, but in the 1980s the entrance was built over, so that much of the incident daylight is removed.

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About the artist

In the late 1930s, Henk de Vos (Rotterdam, 1911 – Ribiers, France, 1982), left the Netherlands shortly after his education at the art academy in Rotterdam. He arrived in the Dutch East Indies and was repatriated in 1949 after his wanderings and captivity, after which he started working as an artist in Rotterdam. He was a book illustrator, graphic artist and set designer. But also active in monumental art with concrete reliefs, gobelins, mosaics and wall sculptures in perspex. In 1961 he became a lecturer at the academy in Rotterdam and worked there until his retirement in 1976. He was a talented artist who, among other things, made the relief for the Beurs metro station, depicting a welder.

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