Page 11: 2013/2016THE FACTORY SET, Kunsthal & BARE BONES

The Factory Set

The Factory Set was a large solo presentation at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam, a mid-career retrospective featuring 37 bas-reliefs, most of which were kindly provided by various collectors and museums. The next five works on this page were made in relation to the show.

[expand title=”The title, The Factory Set, was taken from the soundtrack of the Charlie Chaplin film Modern Times. See a publicity photo of the set in Modern Times:”]

A publicity shot from the film showing the actual factory set used. (source: The Red List)


______ #99

Holocene [2013]

Bas-relief in salvaged wood, 160 x 168 x 16cm
(private collection, Rotterdam, Netherlands)

The Holocene is a geological epoch which began at the end of the Pleistocene some 12,000 years ago, coinciding with the earliest signs of the Neolithic Revolution (the change from hunting and gathering to agriculture). It continues to the present. The Holocene has been identified with the current warm period, and can be considered an interglacial in the current ice age. The Holocene also encompasses the expansion of the human population and its impact on the world environment, and is therefore sometimes called the Anthropocene.

______ #100

Veneer Theory [2014]

Bas-relief in salvaged wood,  152 x 154 x 16cm
(private collection, Osaka, Japan)

Veneer theory is a term coined by Dutch primatologist Frans de Waal to designate a certain view of human morality which he criticizes in his book ‘Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved’. De Waal rejects the idea that human morality is ‘a cultural overlay, a thin veneer hiding an otherwise selfish and brutish nature’. He instead sees our morality as a direct outgrowth of the social instincts that human beings share with other animals.

Veneer Theory is bas-relief No. 100

______ #98

Fleet [2013]

Bas-relief in salvaged wood, 168 x 168 x 16cm
(private collection, Arnhem, Netherlands)

______ #101

Barn Raising [2014]

Bas-relief in salvaged wood, 410 x 327 x 22cm

A ‘barn raising’ is a collective action by a community to build a barn for one of its members. Barn raising was particularly common in 18th and 19th century rural North America. The tradition continues in some Amish and Old Order Mennonite communities, particularly in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and some rural parts of Canada.

______ #103

Wedges [2014]

Group of  bas-reliefs in salvaged wood, size ca. 2 x 2m

______ #

The Factory Set (SPECIAL EDITION)  [2014]

318 x 256 x 65 mm (12.5 x 10 x 2.8 inch) salvaged wood, pear-wood, plywood, screen printed title. Edition of 70, numbered and signed. The edition contains a copy of the book.
(The Edition is part of collections in the Netherlands, the USA and in England.)

Parts for the pear wood box were made by Woodwave in Rotterdam and the salvaged wood mosaic was laser cut by Snijlab, also in Rotterdam. Everything was put together by hand by Ron van der Ende. Because of the nature of the materials used, every box and lid is slightly different.

All proceeds from Numbers 1 through 30 of The Factory Set Special Edition were used to finance the book.


Bare Bones
The Bare Bones show at Ron Mandos in Amsterdam in 2016 presented an overview of abstracted and deconstructed objects. An investigation of the fundamental properties of the work at the 20th anniversary of the artists’ choice to solely create his sculptures from found wood.

______ #102

Black Ark [2014]

Bas-relief in salvaged wood, engraved 310 x 105 x 16 cm
(private collection, Berlin, Germany)

Black Ark fuses worlds that are far apart. The shape of the work is based on a boulder from the D20 ‘hunebed’ (dolmen) in Drenthe, NL. The wood covering Black Ark has black paint over a green base. It is engraved with copies of contemporary shamanic drawings by Lee Perry at his Black Ark studio in Jamaica.
(source for the Lee Perry drawings:

______ #105

Body Buck [2014]

Bas-relief in salvaged wood,  322 x 116 x 15cm
(private collection, Rotterdam, Netherlands)

A body-buck or hammer-form is a sturdy wooden structure used in producing one-off metal panels for coachwork. It is used for prototypes, concept cars and restoration projects. This bas-relief is a rendition of the body buck for the Bizzarrini Manta Concept by Ital Design in 1969.

See some photo’s of the construction process of the original car: [expand title=”READ MORE”]

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Thanks to Jack Koobs de Hartog for most of these images.


______ #107

Europa [2015]

Bas-relief in salvaged wood, 168 x 168 x 14cm
(private collection, Rotterdam, Netherlands)

Europa is one of the moons of Jupiter and it was discovered in 1610 by Galileo Galilei. It is slightly smaller than the Moon, and has a water-ice crust striated by cracks and streaks. It has the smoothest surface of any known solid object in the Solar System which led to the hypothesis that a water ocean exists beneath it, which could conceivably serve as an abode for extra-terrestrial life – a prospect that has made Europa a candidate for a future visit by probe.

______ #108

Cog [2016]

Bas-relief in salvaged wood,  170 x 124 x 12cm
(private collection, Moscow, Russian Federatian)

______ #109

Salvage (Baltic Ace) [2016]

Bas-relief in salvaged wood,  162 x 213 x 15cm
(corporate collection, Rotterdam, Netherlands)

Baltic Ace was a roll-on/roll-off car carrier that sank in the North Sea on 5th December 2012 after a collision with a container ship. It sank within 15 minutes in shallow waters. Only 13 of the crew of 24 were rescued. The wreck was lifted in chunks in 2015 and transported to Waalhaven in Rotterdam where the photo was taken that was the basis for the bas-relief.

______ #110

Oracle [2016]

Bas-relief in salvaged wood,  190 x 122 x 12cm
(private collection, Rotterdam, Netherlands)

This bas relief was based on a window frame that is part of the Oracle assemblage by Robert Rauschenberg from 1965 that is in the collection of the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
“The Oracle bas-relief also references my earliest work. I started producing free work in the second year of art school. One of my first projects dealt with a story about the Oracle of Delphi. In 480 BC the Athenians who were under attack from the Persian army consulted the Pythia. They were told: ‘A wall of wood alone shall be uncaptured, a boon to you and your children’. The message was ambiguous, it could mean ‘hide behind your walls’, or as the Athenians took it ‘take to your ships and flee’. My plan was to build a crossover between a wall and a sailing ship. I wanted to build a flat, frontal and coloured sculpture. All the things I had just learned were frowned upon by serious sculptors. It resulted in a steel structure holding up three large elongated concrete slabs that were painted white with a large red diamond shape. Two years later the principle returned in my graduation project. I had chosen to line up a series of flat and frontal sculptures of synchronised height and width in order to end up with a ‘typology of shapes’. One of these six sculptures was a plain window frame.”

______ #111

Hatchet Job [2016]

Bas-relief in salvaged wood,  239 x 148 x 16cm
(private collection, London, United Kingdom)


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