CBK Rotterdam

Center for Visual Arts Rotterdam

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photo: Pieter van der Meer

Franz West's Qwertz is like new

The colorful artwork and furniture Qwertz (German keyboard order) is painted: glossy lemon yellow, soft lilac, green, blue and orange, and is colorful in the green grass on Westersingel. The artist chose this place because of the pastel-painted facades that form the backdrop for the equally pastel-colored 'seat rolls'.

To expand the International Sculpture Collection of the municipality of Rotterdam, Viennese artist Franz West installed the artwork Qwertz in 2001 on Westersingel. The five monochrome colored, elongated rolls of sheet steel that make up the work are most like enlargements of hand-rolled pieces of clay.

The title West gave this work has no meaning. Qwertz is a letter combination, derived from the first six letters on the top left of a German keyboard. It is important for West that this invented word evokes associations with existing words and that viewers will thus give their own meanings to the object.

The five elements that make up Qwertz are made from a core wrapped in 'rags' of aluminum, welded together in an irregular pattern. The artist explicitly does not want to make an image that one can only look at and possibly contemplate about. The works consist of fragments, which are supplemented as works of art by human use. West wants the public to enter into a dialogue with his objects. To facilitate this, his artworks do not get any pedestals. In the case of Qwertz, the colorful parts on the slope of the Westersingel are perfect for sitting.

More information

Nicknames: Sitzwursten, sausage
Year of manufacture: 2000
Dimensions of the image (hxwxl) in cm: 5 elements of 60 x 65 x 720
Material: Metal plate, paint

Publication date: 01 / 07 / 2015

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