lørdag 6. juli 2013

Yayoi Kusama and the Nul-movement in The Netherlands


We are all very proud at the SKMU: Yayoi Kusama has been a great part of the world history of art, and we can show a tiny bit of her oeuvre here in Kristiansand with Dots Obsession. Could kick myself though for not having been to the Tate to see her big retrospective exhibition in 2012. Will stay more alert in the future when it comes to such opportunities.


This chair from the Whitney museum of modern art shows one of her earlier obsessions, those with stuffed 'stuff'. Here one of her 'Accumulations'. 


She also organised performances and happenings in the late sixties where  nuditity formed a part of the expressive elements of her art. Seeing herself as the High Priestess of the hippie scene, she channeled the provocative energies into artistic ends. This became a crucial factor in the life of a Dutch artist, Jan Schoonhoven.


 Schoonhoven was one of the Nul-movements artists in the 60's in The Netherlands. Together with Henk Peeters, Armando, Henderikse and Herman de Vries they conveyed an artistic vision of repetition, monochromy, seriality and something they called 'directness of material'. 

Schoonhoven worked as a clerk at the Dutch PTT, ordinary hours, and worked on his art in his spare time. When Yayoi Kusama came along though for one of her exhibitions i The Netherlands around the time of the NUL-movement (1962 in Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam), she initiated another of her events with naked people painted with dots. Schoonhoven was, as you can see on the picture above, one of the participants. Largely spelled out in the papers it was, scandal of course! And Schoonhoven missed his Christmas-bonus that year at that traditional PTT.
Henk Peeters (see above, red furry thing) was also one of the NUL-movement, and I was happy to see that he actually curated this Tentoonstelling Nul (Exhibition Nul) at the Stedelijk in Amsterdam in '62. So at that time, in the sixties these guys appreciated and probably found some of their own artistical drive in the works of Kusama. And she brought them that extra little flair that lifted the level of their exhibition to a more scandalous one.

Wattenbolletjes from 1962. Henk Peeters expressed herewith some childlikeness.


The later works of Peeters incorporates his series of cow-hides, either hanging, used in art or neatly stretched up like canvases. To get a better view of seveal of these, you must contact Kunstruimte Wagemans in Beetsterzwaag, The Netherlands. He might be able to help you out. OR maybe galerie Conny van Kasteel. From her website the cow-object by Peeters: Hommage aan Mondriaan.


The funny thing is how some older artists reach a certain goofyness at the later side of their artistry. Peeters passed away this april. Kusama is still going strong, and not surprisingly goofier than ever.

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