new-york

Jan Schoonhoven, Relief, 1964, wood, cardboard, paper, emulsion paint, 20 1/4 × 10 7/8 × 1 3/4".

Jan Schoonhoven

David Zwirner | 519 West 19th Street

Jan Schoonhoven, Relief, 1964, wood, cardboard, paper, emulsion paint, 20 1/4 × 10 7/8 × 1 3/4".

Writing in 1965 about his friend and fellow cofounder of the Dutch Group Nul (Zero), Henk Peeters recalled the words of Jan Schoonhoven’s supervisor at the Dutch postal service, where Schoonhoven was employed from 1946 until his retirement in 1979: “There are no better bureaucrats than Schoonhoven, who pursues his work with such scrupulous precision.” For an artist committed to removing both content and intent from his work, such praise was high indeed. As the selection of handmade reliefs and drawings at David Zwirner made clear, Schoonhoven, who died in 1994, never strove for an aesthetics of administration. He simply followed rules with pleasure, and the pleasurable latitude he revealed within a set of rules pervaded the exhibition.

Schoonhoven takes us through many variations within the narrow parameters of serial, monochrome constructions, yet none of these are as appealing

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