Technology and city (1961) Kees Franse

photo Otto Snoek
About the artwork

A facade relief by artist Kees Franse hangs above the entrance to the Rotterdam City Archives. The building was designed in the late 1963s by the architect Hugh Maaskant and completed in XNUMX. It was intended as a workshop for the Rijks Automobiele Centrale (RAC), the government agency that managed the vehicles of the Tax and Customs Administration, PTT and Rijkswaterstaat, among others. Thus, there were originally gas pumps under the concrete canopy made by French. Work Technology and city has a beautiful surface distribution and composition with a special application of colors and gradations, where shimmers and subtle colors contrast with the raw concrete. The relief has the loveliness of much reconstruction art and at the same time you can see the city, activity, dynamism and the promise of a new era depicted in it. In 1998 the building was converted for the city archives of Rotterdam.

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About the artist

Kees Frans (Oud Beijerland, 1924 - Rotterdam, 1982) was a Rotterdam artist. He studied from 1944 to approximately 1949 at the Academy of Visual Arts and Technical Sciences in Rotterdam. In 1951 he co-founded the artist group 'Argus' with Louis van Roode and Huib Noorlander, among others, with which he exhibited jointly. He mainly specialized in painting, but also made work for the public space, including a colored concrete relief (1962) above the entrance of the current City Archives in Rotterdam. He had a special interest in apples, from which he made enormous 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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