1914 – 1994 in Delft, Netherlands
Schoonhoven is considered one of the most important Dutch artists of the late 20th century and he is recognized for his extensive and systematic investigations into light, form, and volume through his sculptural wall reliefs and works on paper. Even though, he spent most of his life in Delft, Holland, Schoonhoven worked in dialogue with an international group of avant-garde artists. At the beginning of the 1950s, he played a central role in the Nederlandse Informele Groep (Netherlandish Informel Group) and the Nul-groep (Nul Group), which were affiliated with the European Informel movement and the Zero Group. Also, Schoonhoven was included in many important and related group exhibitions including, Zero-O-Nul at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague in 1964 and Amsterdam, Paris, Düsseldorf at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 1972. Furthermore, he participated in documenta 4, Kassel, in 1968, and in the IX Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil, in 1967, where he was awarded the second prize. Schoonhoven’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at notorious museums, such as the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in The Hague and the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Major surveys and retrospectives of the artist’s work have been held in international institutions such as, the Städtisches Museum in Mönchengladbach (Germany), the Westfälischer Kunstverein in Münster (Netherlands) and the Museum van Bommel van Dam in Venlo (Netherlands). In 1985–86, Jan Schoonhoven Retrospektiv: Tekeningen en reliëfs travelled from the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, to the Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Nuremberg, and finally to the Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany. In 1995–96, Jan J. Schoonhoven – retrospektiv was exhibited at the Museum Folkwang, Essen, the Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, and the Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland.The artist’s work was recently included in the group exhibition Zero: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s-60s at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, from October 2014 to January 2015. Moreover, a centennial exhibition of the artist’s work is being held at Situation Kunst, Bochum, Germany, in 2015.