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Z-Files #7: Apples from Kees Franse

Z-Files: 11 / 11 / 2014

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

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

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 images were subject to rotting, and the wood had to be replaced. Thanks to the efforts of the 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
Under the leadership of Mijke Loeven (director of Jazz International Rotterdam and resident of the Heemraadssingel), a number of speakers are heard 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 are also shown, including one by Emile Steginga about the restoration of the Apples, and a film by Thys Ockersen from 1975, in which French shows how he is Apples made. This film is also introduced by Ockersen. Afterwards become the new Apples festively initiated with apple juice and Apfelkorn.

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 Rotterdam's international sculpture collection, 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