In collaboration with Galerie Zavodny

Artist(s): Johannes Schoonhoven


Solo exhibition with Johannes Schoonhoven

The Advent season is ideal for an exhibition of works by the Dutch artist Johannes “Jan” Schoonhoven. The rare winter light softly touches the textured surfaces of large-format reliefs, gently penetrating all the irregularities and incisions created by the hands of the artist. Led by his thoughts and inner tension, they rhythmically resonate with his breath and subconsciousness. Viewers have the opportunity to delve into their own reflections, and engage in silent contemplation…

Johannes “Jan” Schoonhoven (1975) frequently visited the studio of his grandfather, Johannes Schoonhoven (1914-1994), during his childhood. The elder Schoonhoven was one of the most prominent figures of the 20th-century modern art. Jan’s way of thinking and choice of material, formable paper pulp, were significantly influenced by his grandfather. The primary material, minimalist approach, and inclination toward monochromatic colour seem to be a genetic gift that Jan draws from.

However, all similarities end here. Jan’s works are more monumental, the handwriting is more relaxed, unrestricted by the rules of strict order and necessary repetition. While one can sense Jan’s admiration for the Zero movement and its authorities (such as L. Fontana), the dedication is very liberal and consciously shaped. It is fortunate that the existence of this initial foundation does not restrict the author, allowing him enough space for his own creativity.

The collection of works for the Závodný Gallery was created throughout the year and is presented as an independent cycle. Individual reliefs are made in white, blue, or black. Each of them has its own dynamism, where the interplay of colours resonates with the author’s vision for achieving harmony in shape, structure, and colour. The depth of the relief and the method of halftoning are adapted for the autonomy of the work, so that each artifact can be understood as part of the entire collection, but individual works also perform very well independently.

Graphic sheets by the older Johannes Schoonhoven, evoking drawings, are freely incorporated into the installation. The element of free handwriting complements the relief structures with a sense of direct authenticity. Drawing, or rather the printing of the drawing, is a quick expression of the author’s idea or intention. The works in the mass of paper material marked by incisions and scratches, and the layering of the relief, are more of a sculptural expression, closely linked to the materials technology that often evolves over a long period.

Some of Johannes “Jan” Schoonhoven’s works are composed of optical lenses and glass pieces. Here, a direct parallel can be found with the author’s profession, who works as an optician.

The ground floor of the gallery is dedicated to the presentation of works by authors who have long-term collaborations with the Závodný Gallery. The artworks are connected to the solo exhibition of Johannes “Jan” Schoonhoven by minimalist purity, clarity, and a completely unique authorial concept.