Jan J. Schoonhoven - Untitled (Gorkum 3) - image-1
Jan J. Schoonhoven - Untitled (Gorkum 3) - image-2
Jan J. Schoonhoven - Untitled (Gorkum 3) - image-1Jan J. Schoonhoven - Untitled (Gorkum 3) - image-2

Lot 69 D

Jan J. Schoonhoven - Untitled (Gorkum 3)

Auction 1177 - overview Cologne
17.06.2021, 18:00 - Modern/Contemporary Art - Evening Sale
Estimate: 60.000 € - 80.000 €
Result: 112.500 € (incl. premium)

Jan J. Schoonhoven

Untitled (Gorkum 3)

Cardboard, paper and latex paint on wood. 26.5 x 16.3 x 3.5 cm. Signed and dated 'J.J.Schoonhoven 1963' on wood verso and inscribed 'Gorkum 3' and with dimensions. - Minor traces of age.

The white reliefs that Jan Schoonhoven created during the 60s and 70s are of a captivating beauty and clarity. Made of simple materials - cardboard, corrugated cardboard, paper - hand-crafted, painted white, they show serial sequences of uniform recesses. The monochrome white and the geometric grid, which the artist used in his objects as significant design elements from the 60s onwards, are related to Minimal Art. However, his objects do differ from Minimal Art due to their imperfect individualism revealing the hand of the artist - an aspect Schoonhoven not only intended but which is of crucial importance. “If I have a rectangle which I glue in a certain way to create a relief, well, then it should be somewhat poetic - I think. Yes, so that it becomes alive. Otherwise, I can simply have it produced in a factory,” is how the artist describes his relationship to the underlying work process. (Jan Schoonhoven, cited in: Jan J. Schoonhoven - retrospektiv, exhib. cat. Museum Folkwang, Essen i.a., Düsseldorf 1995, p. 60). The minor irregularities in the construction and paint also influence the finely nuanced effects of light and shadow, which are of the utmost importance for his works. In their monochrome white setting, the outer frame, bars, and recesses modulate shades of white and grey that change constantly depending on the incidence of light and the viewer's standpoint, giving the three-dimensional reliefs a painterly appearance.


We would like to thank Antoon Melissen, Amsterdam, for the confirmation of the work's authenticity. The present work will be included in the forthcoming Jan Schoonhoven Catalogue raisonné, being prepared by Antoon Melissen, Amsterdam.


Galerie Paul Maenz, Frankfurt/M. (1970); private collection, Hesse