Jan Schoonhoven (Dutch, 1994)

Jan Schoonhoven (Dutch, 1914–1994) was a painter and sculptor associated with the Dutch Zero Movement and best known for his white cardboard reliefs and ink drawings. He studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Art in the Hague, and worked a full-time job at the Dutch Postal Service for thirty years, making art in his free time. Schoonhoven’s early abstract drawings, influenced by the work of Paul Klee (German/Swiss, 1879–1940), evolved into papier mâché reliefs. In 1960s, he co-founded Nul, also known as the Dutch Zero Movement, an avant-garde group that sought to reduce art to the zero degree by simplifying compositions and using everyday materials. From the 1960s, Schoonhoven’s work focused on gridded reliefs made of white cardboard and black ink drawings. Schoonhoven’s T 78-44(1976) is an ink drawing of 12 vertical ladders, broken by 5 white vertical lines, exemplifying his ability to balance rigorous order with the irregularity of the artist’s hand. In the 1980s, his sculptural work included reliefs such as R 80-82, made of corrugated cardboard painted white and arranged in geometric configurations. Schoonhoven’s work is currently held in several museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.


Born: Delft, The Netherlands


“Umziehen,” Galerie Kai Hilgemann, Berlin, Germany
Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, New York
“Jan Schoonhoven, Fons Brasser,” Galerij Jeanne Buytaert, Antwerp, Belgium
“Serieel (Guido Lippens, Jaap van den Ende, Derk Sauer, Jan Schoonhoven),” Galerie Akinci, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
“Tekenen,” Galerij Orez-Mobiel, The Hague, The Netherlands
“Radikal auf Papier,” Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Germany
Galerie m, Bochum, Germany
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Institut Néerlandais, Paris, France
Musée de Peinture, Grenoble, France
Galerie Lüpke, Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany
Ritter Art Gallery, Florida (travelling exhibition to four American universities)