Reading / debate

03/11/2016
Bus tour

Z-Files #17: Frans de Wit

Bus tour and lunch lecture: Thursday, November 3, 12 - 14 hours
Participation is free
You can register via this link

The Windscreen Calandkanaal (1985) and the Square island in the lake (1996) are two monumental works of art, outside the center of Rotterdam. Both artworks were made by artist Frans de Wit (1949-2004) and have been the property of the municipality of Rotterdam since they were created. The works are of great value to the city and to the Dutch history of monumental and landscape art. That is why Sculpture International Rotterdam (SIR) has it Windscreen Calandkanaal and the Square island in the lake included in the SIR collection (also known as the A collection). The collection of SIR is relatively small, so that more attention can be given to maintenance, research and knowledge transfer about these works of art.

Z-Files #17: Frans de Wit
To celebrate these special acquisitions for the collection, SIR is organizing a new edition of the Z-Files on November 3: Tells in a special lunch bus tour Ad Koolen landscape architect and expert on the work of Frans de Wit, about the artist and these two works. Both artworks will be visited this afternoon. At the Windshield on the Caland Canal, former municipal architect tells Maarten Struijs from beginning to end the story of this colossal concrete engineering artwork, which he designed in collaboration with Frans de Wit.

Square island in the lake in Rotterdam Prinsenland (1992-1996) is placed at the historical lowest point in the Netherlands, more than 7 meters below NAP and is an artificial island measuring 52 × 52 meters. The work consists of a deep concrete shell with a diameter of 28,5 meters, with rising beams all around on a square base. The island is connected to the banks by two bridge sections. Within architecture, the square island represents the classic architectural task of moving from square to circle.

Windscreen Calandkanaal
A windshield was constructed between 1983 and 1985 along the Calandkanaal in Rotterdam-Europoort near the Calandbrug, to make shipping possible even with a wind force higher than 5. The screen is almost 2 kilometers long and consists of semicircular concrete elements of 25 meters height.

About Frans de Wit
Frans de Wit, sculptor and landscape artist and maker of the three largest works of art in the Netherlands. Franciscus Theodorus Alexandros de Wit (1942-2004) studied from 1960 to 1965 at the Royal Academy of Visual Arts in The Hague and was part of the so-called Hague School. "Frans de Wit was one of the best Dutch sculptors of his generation, along with Carel Visser, David van de Kop, Cornelius Rogge and Lon Pennock. He built an impressive oeuvre, in which commissions for sculptures in public space occupied a large place. For Frans de Wit, the place was the starting point for such images. The dimensions ensured that the artworks are in balance with people, nature and the environment. De Wit chose a variety of materials. It is characteristic of him that he worked these materials with his own hands - and with tools he designed himself. This processing largely determined the image, it grew during the creation process. Such projects sometimes took years to complete.'
- Jetteke Bolten Rempt