David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of works by Jan Schoonhoven (1914–1994) at the gallery's 537 West 20th Street location. The show will feature an extensive group of the artist's sculptural wall reliefs and works on paper from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s in what will be the first significant presentation of the artist's work in America in over a decade.
Regarded as one of the most important Dutch artists of the late twentieth century, Schoonhoven is recognized for his innovative and systematic investigations into light, form, and volume. Despite spending the majority of his life in Delft, the Netherlands, where he worked from 1946 to 1979 as a civil servant for the Dutch Postal Service, Schoonhoven rose to artistic prominence as an active and influential member of the international avant garde. Beginning in the 1950s, he played a central role in the Nederlandse Informele Groep (Netherlandish Informal Group) and the Nul-groep (Nul Group)–which were affiliated with the European Informel movement and the ZERO Group respectively. Rejecting illusionism and subjective expression, these artists shared a collective interest in exploring the essential, objective forms and properties of art. Schoonhoven in particular developed a highly unique body of work that centered on a sustained investigation of serial abstraction, the monochrome, and the grid. In their carefully structured yet sensitively rendered forms, the artist's works have been fittingly described as "cool, strictly ordered, [and] well considered… but also familiar, humane, and intimate."