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Auction: 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale
was auctioned on: 8 March 2018
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Jan Schoonhoven

Estimate: £250,000 - £350,000
ca. US$345,103 - US$483,145
Price realised:  £441,000
ca. US$608,762
Lot number 44, Views: 67

44 Property of a Distinguished Private Collector Jan Schoonhoven Follow R72-73-M-14 signed, titled and dated 'J. J. Schoonhoven "R72-73-M-14" Jan J Schoonhoven 1973' on the reverse painted papier-mâché relief on board 126.2 x 68 cm (49 5/8 x 26 3/4 in.) Executed in 1972 - 1973, Antoon Melissen has confirmed the authenticity of this work.
Provenance Galerie M, Bochum Galerie Franz Swetec, Griesheim/Darmstadt Galerie Reckermann, Cologne Private Collection, North Rhine-Westphalia (acquired from the above in 1982) Ketterer Kunst GmbH & Co KG, Munich, 13 June 2015, lot 805 Acquired at the above sale by the present owner Catalogue Essay Systematically presenting the viewer with a serialised, geometric composition, R72-73-M-14 is emblematic of Jan Schoonhoven’s vital investigation into light, form and volume. From a series of fourteen works created in collaboration with students of Bochum University, the present work belongs to the artist’s pivotal body of white reliefs. It was for his reliefs that the artist gained international acclaim in 1967 when awarded second prize at the São Paulo Biennale with ‘by far the most sensitive three-dimensional works in the biennale’ (Antoon Melissen, Jan Schoonhoven , Rotterdam, 2015, p. 107). Presenting an encounter between manufactured and accidental geometry, the present work echoes the architectural surroundings of Schoonhoven's hometown of Delft. Displaying ultimate simplicity, the minimal and architectural distinction of Schoonhoven’s sculptural papier-mâché reliefs originates from the artist’s fascination with buildings. Moving away from his geometric, linear drawings, in 1956 Schoonhoven commenced his experimentations with cardboard, papier-mâché, glue and paint to construct buildings, fortresses and zoos for his son. Replicating the facades, roofs, and building structures of his hometown and their reflections in ripples of the canals, Schoonhoven’s reliefs demonstrate the artist’s acute sensibility to his surroundings. As he affirmed, ‘the order, the discipline is mirrored in my work’ (Jan Schoonoven, quoted in Antoon Melissen, Jan Schoonhoven , Rotterdam, 2015, p. 107). Titled R72-73-M-14 , the work reveals the artist’s disciplined referencing system; whereby 'R' refers to relief and '72-73', the year of the works conception. As this work originates from a specially commissioned project initiated by Galerie M and Galerij Orez Mobiel, 'M' refers to the project for Gallery M in Bochum and '14' to the artist’s inventory number. The artist’s relationship with Alexander Von Berswordt-Wallrabe of Gallery M in Bochum resulted in six solo exhibitions between 1969 - 1972. The present work from the initiative of Von Berswordt-Wallrabe and the artist, comes from a series of 14 closely interrelated reliefs. These works from 1972-1973 each have a letter ‘M’ in the title and paved the way for more restrained imagery which was closely related to the artist’s output from his ZERO years, 1960 - 1965. Harnessing his minimalistic output, Schoonhoven played a founding role in the Dutch Group, Nul , a collective of Dutch artists established between 1961 and 1966 and collaborated closely with key members of the German ZERO network and its international following. His reliefs are based on a single theme, what the artist referred to as ‘a gradual vertical division of parallel horizontal cells’ (Antoon Melissen, Jan Schoonhoven , Rotterdam, 2015, p. 128, 132–133). With a poetic interplay of light and shadow, the present work reminds us of Schoonhoven’s assertion from 1965 that ‘ZERO is first of all a new idea of reality, to which the individualism of the artist is reduced to a minimum’ (Jan Schoonhoven, quoted in Antoon Melissen, Jan Schoonhoven , Rotterdam, 2015, p. 128, 132–133). Schoonhoven’s preoccupation with form and volume unfurls from the troughs of the structure. ‘….As a kinetic instrument reacts to the ever-changing movement of the wind, thereby drawing attention to it, Schoonhoven’s relief, as a static, serially-structured instrument, reacts to the light through constantly changing chiaroscuro patterns that could never be represented mimetically as both themselves and their particular variations. It deliberately renders light as being beyond any form of mimesis’ (Max Imdahl, ‘Jan J. Schoonhoven’, in Norbert Kunisch, Erläuterungen zur M

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Phillips
Title: 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale
Date of the auction: 8 Mar 2018
Address: Phillips