Piet Killaars

Wording ('Genesis'), 1968


'Wording' (Genesis), 1968

Location: The pond near the Atlas building


"I don't need to copy things. I'm more interested in questions like 'What structures do you find in an object?' How plants and organic forms develop has always fascinated me. 'Wording' is a good example for that."

Piet Killaars (1922 - 2015) studies at the School of Applied Art and at the Jan van Eijck Academy, both at Maastricht. As a boy he collects seashells, corals and crystals, structures which he later uses in his work. He first doesn't move away far from the original forms, the titles too being basic. For example 'Fruit' or 'Bud'. But as he progresses he makes all kinds of discoveries. "For example, you find structures of seashells in many other things. That provides an idea you can continue to build on."

From this idea springs his main theme: the simplification of basic organic structures. These he shapes into all sorts of abstract forms, for example by stacking them in an upward spiral. The titles become more abstract as well: 'Energy', 'Evolution', and 'Genesis' (Dutch: 'Wording').

Killaars creates 'Wording' in 1968, specifically for TU/e and for the pond near the Main Building (now named Atlas). For the first time Killaars connects a concrete concept - a hand - to an abstract one - that of growth. From the pond in front of the Atlas building emerges a hand, mingling with a craggy growth. Killaars believes this is an appropriate theme for a sculpture meant for TU/e: students put what they learn to their use, each in their own individual way.

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