Untitled (1971) Margot Zanstra

Otto Snoek
About the artwork

On 14 April 1971, alderman Van der Ploeg unveiled this sculpture constructed of anthracite blocks, made by the Amsterdam sculptor Margot Zanstra. This freestanding work of art appears to be a shaky construction of cubes and has been placed in front of the Akragon building: the sports tower on the Schiekade, which is used by David Lloyd and is part of the former school complex Technikon. Mr DJM Dura offered the work of art to the municipality on behalf of the architect, contractors and suppliers, declaring that he thought it was one of the "most expensive pieces of concrete" he had ever cast. The sculpture was not given an official name, but the controversial municipality soon christened it 'cassia-six', after a simple dice game. Zanstra became an artist in 1966 and this sculpture was her first major assignment. As an autodidact at home she was busy designing clay plastics when architect Hugh Maaskant, designer of this huge Technikon school complex, came to her home and was so impressed by the plastic that he gave her an assignment. This was the beginning of her career as an artist. She would develop a language of mathematical forms with patterns, systems and constructions of perspex. These rhythm essays are compared to De Stijl. (Source: GWJ Nieuwenhuis - Verveen, Statues, monuments and sculptures in Rotterdam, (Rotterdam, 1972), p. 70).

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About the artist

Margot Zanstra (Laren, 1919 - Amsterdam, 2010) became a visual artist after a career as a ballet dancer and choreographer with the Dutch National Ballet in 1966. She developed herself as an autodidact in sculpture and gained experience with sculptor Piet Starreveld. Her work shows many geometric figures, in which rhythm and balance are important themes. Zanstra was married to architect Piet Zanstra.

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