Jan Schoonhoven

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Biography

Jan Schoonhoven (1914-1994) is regarded as one of the most important Dutch artists of the late twentieth century and is recognized for his extensive and systematic investigations into light, form, and volume through his sculptural wall reliefs and works on paper. 

Despite spending the majority of his life in Delft, Holland, Schoonhoven worked in dialogue with and had a significant impact upon an international group of avant garde artists. Beginning in the 1950s, he played a central role in the Nederlandse Informele Groep (Netherlandish Informel Group) and the Nul-groep (Nul Group)—which were affiliated with the European Informel movement and the Zero Group, respectively—and was included in numerous important and related group exhibitions including Zero-O-Nul at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, in 1964, and Amsterdam, Paris, Düsseldorf at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 1972. He participated in documenta 4, Kassel, in 1968, and the IX Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil, in 1967, where he was awarded second prize.

Schoonhoven's work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at museums including the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, in 1967, and the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, the Netherlands (1968, 1972, and 1973). Major surveys and retrospectives of the artist's work have been held in international institutions: in 1972, Jan J. Schoonhoven traveled from the Städtisches Museum, Mönchengladbach, Germany, to the Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster, and the Museum van Bommel van Dam, Venlo, the Netherlands; in 1985–86, Jan Schoonhoven Retrospektiv: Tekeningen en reliëfs traveled from the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, to the Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Nuremberg, and finally to the Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany; and in 1995–96, Jan J. Schoonhoven – retrospektiv traveled from Museum Folkwang, Essen, to the Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, and the Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland.

The artist's work was recently included in the group exhibition Zero: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s-60s at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, from October 2014 - January 7, 2015. A centennial exhibition of the artist's work is being held at Situation Kunst, Bochum, Germany, in 2015.

David Zwirner is presenting the first significant exhibition of the artist's sculptural wall reliefs and works on paper in America in over a decade, on view at our 537 West 20th Street location from January 9 - February 14, 2015.

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