Frans Peeters

'Bolplastiek met zadel' ('Spherical plastic with saddle'), 1968


Location: Auditorium, behind the Glass Room

Frans Peeters (1925 - 2006), an artist from the province of Limburg who preferred to be called a constructor of sculptures instead of a sculptor, rose to world fame with his sculptures in polyester. One of his rounded forms adorns the Dutch pavilion at the Osaka world fair of 1970. The VPRO television network produces a film about his work, titled 'De ronde wereld van Frans Peeters' ('The rounded world of Frans Peeters'). This film clarifies the essence of Peeters' work. Peeters varies endlessly on his basic theme.

Still, his very first works are small plastics of rolled-up figures, vegetable forms of fruits and buds, and female nudes. But he achieves his great breakthrough with his polyester spherical forms. This is what he says about that preference in his work: "The spherical form is the finalization of the experience of space. When I stand before a sphere, I find myself frontally opposite a plane that bends away from me in all directions, until it vanishes from view. I presume that the bending continues, I experience the other side. I stand as it were on all sides at the same time and opposite myself."

He continues: "I want to create sculptures of which the material says nothing about the maker. I got that feeling with my sculptures in marble. People admired the polished, milk-like translucent skin, while I believe a sculpture should tell a story of its own. Therefore, the sculpture must be rid of all traces of processing. Then the maker is where he belongs: outside the picture."

But using polyester is still not the full answer. For what colour should a sculpture have? Black gives the spheres an impression of weight which Peeters doesn't want. Pure white seems to dominiate the sphere, and therefore Frans Peeters opts for off-white.

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