Jan Schoonhoven - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale London Monday, June 25, 2018 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Christie's, Amsterdam, 11 December 1991, lot 410
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Integral to Jan Schoonhoven’s contribution to one of the most influential strands of post-war European abstraction, Modulated Ridges, created in 1965, highlights the artist’s concern with form and volume, celebrating his novel approach to abstraction with commonplace materials. In 1956, having previously focused on linear drawings, Schoonhoven began experimenting with papier-mâché, cardboard, glue and paint to construct factories, castles and zoos for his son. The impressionable materials and non-exact finish, evident in the sculptural excellence of the present work, serves as a crucial reminder of Schoonhoven’s mastery of materials. The rhythmic patterns, embodied by elements of papier-mâché methodically placed one on top of the other, creates a poetic interplay of light and shadow. Replicating the facades, roofs, and building structures of his hometown and their reflections in ripples of the canals, Modulated Ridges demonstrates Schoonhoven’s acute sensibility to his surroundings. As he affirmed, ‘the order, the discipline is mirrored in my work’ (Jan Schoonhoven, quoted in Antoon Melissen, Jan Schoonhoven, Rotterdam, 2015, p. 107). Emphasising the beauty and tranquillity of his sculptural creations, the repetition and uniformity of Schoonhoven’s Modulated Ridges characterises the artist’s objectivity and freedom from social models. This stunning, yet subtle and elegant example of Schoonhoven’s oeuvre, from the height of his creative output, achieves a timeless quality.


Modulated ridges

signed, titled and dated 'J. J. Schoonhoven 1965 "Modulated ridges"' on the reverse
painted cardboard, in artist's frame
57.6 x 46.2 cm (22 5/8 x 18 1/4 in.)
Executed in 1965, Antoon Melissen has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

£100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for £106,250

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20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 26 June 2018