JAN SCHOONHOVEN (Dutch Artist 1914 - 1994)
Acrylic on relief paper mache with stapled sides on masonite board
Signed and titled on the reverse
Size: 59 x 62 cm
Frame: In white wooden box, behind acrylic with a white background
Fine original condition
(Please refer to department for Condition report. You can find the biography of this artist in our digital catalogue for this sale)
Estimate: 150,000 – 200,000 Euro
This particular work, which had disappeared from view for years, has a rich exhibition history. It was part of the first presentation of Schoonhoven’s serial monochrome reliefs outside the Netherlands, in the exhibition ‘Internationale Malerei 1960-61’, Wolframs-Eschenbach, Germany (1961).
‘Internationale Malerei 1960-61’. Deutschordensschloss, Wolframs-Eschenbach, Germany, 15 July – 24 September 1961.
‘Avantgarde 61‘, Städtisches Museum, Trier, Germany, 1961, 7 October – 5 November 1962.
‘Nul‘, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, 9 – 26 March 1962.
For almost 40 years, Dutch artist Jan J. Schoonhoven (1914-1994) worked on his highly distinctive monochrome white reliefs, made of papier-mâché, paper and cardboard; works that earned him international recognition from the late 1960s onwards. In 1961, with Armando, Jan Henderikse and Henk Peeters, Schoonhoven formed the Dutch Nul Group which became affiliated with the international ZERO movement. ZERO artists moved away from the emotionally charged work of art, not through a different use of familiar academic materials, but by seeking other means and modes of expression. The ‘dynamic structure’ was an important notion for ZERO-artists, as was the monochrome and the grid as a compositional organizing principle.
Schoonhoven created his first monochrome serial reliefs composed of shallow, repeating surfaces in 1960, of which the relief R60-29 is an important example. This relief was part of the exhibition Internationale Malerei 1960-61 in the German town of Wolframs-Eschenbach (1961), the first presentation of Schoonhoven’s serial monochrome reliefs outside the Netherlands. Later that year, R60-29 was also shown in the exhibition Avantgarde 61 in the German town of Trier. Participating artist Yayoi Kusama, those days in close contact with Jan Schoonhoven, regarded ‘Trier’ as the first exhibition with a “true ZERO spirit”.
Jan Schoonhoven’s relief R60-29 was also part of the groundbreaking exhibition Nul at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, March 1962. Nul was the first internationally oriented ZERO-exhibition within the walls of a prominent museum, organized by the artists themselves. In Amsterdam ZERO-artists demonstrated how they had succeeded in stretching the traditional concept of art: from the fascination with the elements fire and water, monochrome, movement and vibration, to the ‘annexation’ of consumer goods and the use of industrial materials. In the run-up to the exhibition, Schoonhoven was in close contact with kindred spirits such as Lucio Fontana, Yayoi Kusama and Dusseldorf Zero-artists Otto Piene, Heinz Mack and Günther Uecker. However, in the shelter of his hometown Delft, Schoonhoven came to a visual language that was wholly his own
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