Frans Franssen

Het blauw van de vlinder ('The Blue of the Butterfly'), 1994

Location: Lawn near buildings Differ and Flux

This sculpture by painter/sculptor Frans Franssen (1959) was originally located in a residential area in the town of Zuidbroek (Groningen province). When it had to be removed from there in view of construction of additional housing, it was relocated to the TU/e campus.

The remarkable title is a reference to an observation Frans Franssen once made:
"It's always a surprise to see how a butterfly, and also for example a kingfisher or a flower, manage to bring colour into a space. Whenever a butterfly spreads its wings you suddenly see it: colour comes into the space."

Franssen: "When you see an object you assume automatically that you know what the reverse side looks like. That assumption is not necessarily correct, as a single viewpoint can never encompass the entirety." Franssen's work, also the two-dimensional, explores the possibilities this insight provides.

Franssen painted the sculpture not in a smooth but in a grainy finish. From a distance however the sculpture does look like it's smooth and painted in a monochrome colour. Franssen doesn't want his sculptures to look as if they've been sprayed like a car or a window frame. A sculpture has a skin which must be 'touchable', have tactile qualities.
Franssen studied at the Academy of the Visual Arts at Tilburg, in the 'Painting' section. Here he was broadly educated in various disciplines by inspiring and exigent teachers like René Daniëls, Harry Boom, Paul de Nooijer, Jan Dibbets, Chris Manders and Marlene Dumas.
After having taught a 'Colour + Space' workshop to master students of architecture, he worked for many years as a teacher at the TU/e departments of Industrial Design and Architectural Sciences.The Architectural Sciences department purchased a large painting by Frans Franssen in 2008.

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