CBK Rotterdam

Center for Visual Arts Rotterdam

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Z-Files #17: Frans de Wit

Lecture / debate: 03 / 11 / 2016
Location: Bus tour

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 on the historic lowest point of the Netherlands, more than 7 meters below NAP and is an artificial island of 52 × 52 meters. The work consists of a deep concrete bowl with a diameter of 28,5 meters, with rising beams on a square base. The island is connected to the shores with two bridge sections. Within the architecture, the square island represents the classical, 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, together with Carel Visser, David van de Kop, Cornelius Rogge and Lon Pennock. He built an impressive oeuvre, in which commissions for images in the public space played a major role. For Frans de Wit, the place was the starting point for such images. The dimensions ensure that the artworks are in balance with people, nature and environment. De Wit chose a variety of materials. Characteristic for him is that he processed the materials with his own hands - and with self-designed tools. This editing largely determined the image, it grew during the creation process. Such projects sometimes took years.'
- Jetteke Bolten Rempt

TENT is the platform for contemporary art in the context of Rotterdam with exhibitions, new productions, educational projects, performances and events with makers from the city and beyond.
To website TENT

Sculpture International Rotterdam manages the international sculpture collection of Rotterdam, brings it to the attention and develops a metropolitan international art policy.
To the SIR website

Forest polder fox, Florentijn Hofman, Schiedamseweg, 2020. Photo: Otto Snoek

BKOR manages and renews the extensive city collection in collaboration with Rotterdam residents, companies and institutions. BKOR advises the municipality, citizens and artists on the realization, placement, relocation and remediation of public works of art.
To the BKOR website

Art Office mediates, informs and supports visual artists from Rotterdam with regard to their professional practice. For artists, institutions and individuals.
To the Art Office website