Z-Files #7: Apples from Kees Franse

On Thursday 11 December Visual Arts & Public Space (BKOR) will organize the seventh edition of the Z Files: Art and the city. This edition is dedicated to the Rotterdam artist Kees Frans (1924-1982).

About the artist
Kees Frans (Oud Beijerland, 1924 - 1982) mainly specialized in painting, was founder of the painters group Argus, but also made work for public space, including a colored concrete relief above the entrance of the current City Archives in Rotterdam (1962). 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 served as a meeting point at that time.

French made the first apples at 1973 in Rotterdam. For the Heemraadssingel, where he also had his home and studio, he made four apples made from Kambala wood. The work was the only purchase from the municipal Images Committee in the City. After his unveiling, the group of statues was quickly closed down by city dwellers.

After forty years, however, the statues were subject to rotting and the wood had to be replaced. Thanks to the efforts of Visual Arts & Public Space (BKOR) and a grant from the city council, the apples recreated in 2014. In the Restoration Workshop Schiedam, specialized in the restoration of mills, the four were wooden apples completely re-manufactured based on 3D scans.

Program Z-Files # 7
Led by Mijke Loeven (director Jazz International Rotterdam and resident of the Heemraadssingel), a number of speakers who know French and his work well, including visual artist Klaas Gubbels; art collector and blogger Joris Veltman; restorer of the Apples Rob Batenburg (Restoration workshop Schiedam) and art collector and local resident of the Heemraadssingel Alexander Ramselaar.

Two films will also be shown, including a film by Emile Steginga about the restoration of the Apples, and a film by Thys Ockersen from 1975, in which French shows what he is like Apples made. This film is also introduced by Ockersen. Afterwards become the new Apples festively initiated with apple juice and Apfelkorn.