Jan Schoonhoven ink on paper The Netherlands 1983





Super rare and large abstract black and white painting by Jan Schoonhoven, The Netherlands 1983. Schoonhoven’s minimalistic ideology makes his ink drawings a particularly interesting point of his artistic career. Although his color palette and materials remained restricted, he departed from ridged geometric symmetry and instead experimented with expressive, bold, painterly strokes, like this T83-16, which is also unique in its large size. Despite the varying strokes of each ink drawing, Schoonhoven was able to masterfully serialize the drawings by his selective color palette and working within a limited range of sizes.


Schoonhoven’s ink drawings and paper reliefs paralleled his life outside of art. When he wasn’t creating artwork, Schoonhoven worked as a civil servant at the Dutch Postal Services for three decades. The routine nature of his employment was translated and transformed beautifully into his pieces – they are similar yet sovereign, structured while explorative. He was not interested in imagining new forms or concepts; rather, Schoonhoven spent his weekends and after-work hours by interpreting his surroundings and adapting them to the page. Schoonhoven’s immediate environment influenced his artwork in practical ways as well. He made his art in the living room of his apartment in Delft, Holland, where he lived with his wife and child. The reliefs he created could be no larger than his sitting room table; if they were any bigger he would risk the art being too large to be brought down his building’s stairwell.


Schoonhoven said; “For me, it is all about one white plane – free from any principle of painting, free from any interference that is foreign to the character of the plain. White is no Arctic landscape, it is not a material that brings to mind certain associations, nor a beautiful material nor a symbol of something else: a white plane is a white plane.” Schoonhoven applied this philosophy fully to his artwork, from his depersonalized aesthetic to the nondescript naming conventions he used to title his works.


Provenance; Purchased directly from the Schoonhoven family.


Jan Schoonhoven is one of the leading Dutch minimalist artists of the 20th century. He was born in Delft and would live there all his life. Jan Schoonhoven excelled in drawing at an early age and attended the Royal Academy in The Hague. In 1934 he completed the m.o. training. sign off. His work became increasingly abstract and the first horizontal and vertical arrangements soon emerged. He didn’t have much success with it yet. In 1946 he joined the PTT in The Hague, where he continued to work until his retirement. In his spare time he continued to develop as an artist. In 1958, the Dutch Informal Group was founded in the Schoonhoven home.


Jan Schoonhoven, Henk Peeters, Armando, Jan Henderikse and Kees van Bohemen wanted to reduce the personal influence of the artist. Schoonhoven made his first reliefs from ribbed cardboard and developed them into his architectural reliefs. In 1960, the Informal Group became the Zero Group. He wanted to limit the artist’s personal influence even further by isolating and repeating everyday objects, or parts of them. In 1967 he won second prize at the Sao Paulo Biennale. It marked his breakthrough in the international art circuit.

Designer: Jan Schoonhoven
Type: T83-16
Manufacturer: Schoonhoven atelier
Year: 1983
Country: The Netherlands
Materials: Ink on paper
Condition: Excellent, new frame
Height: 100 cm
Width: 65 cm
Depth: 1 cm
Item nr: CON23NO15

Holland / Belgium: € Free
Europe: € 150 - 250
Outside Europe: € 250 - 450

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