Jan Schoonhoven reliefs

The term 'modern art' refers to a large and variable group of artworks, of which the earliest are over 100 years old. Can modern art 'age', and what do we understand as being  'patina' on what is now historical modern art? The white reliefs of Jan Schoonhoven illustrate this dilemma. Jan Schoonhoven made his early work entirely by himself from cardboard and newsprint, glue and white paint. Later assistants performed this work. Because 'white' was selected in the sence of 'absence of colour' whitewashing, if necessary by applying integral overpaint, was no problem in Schoonhoven’s lifetime. Meanwhile, works from the NUL period are being meticulously restored and the ‘patina’ valued as evidence of its authenticity. Each time a Jan Schoonhoven relief is treated, the research conducted into his materials and working techniques increases our knowledge about his original methods and variations within his oeuvre. This knowledge contributes significantly to the decision making processes preceding conservation treatment


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