In April we will publish a new book about Henk Peeters, with a clear, detailed essay by Antoon Melissen.....
Henk Peeters was a driving force
“It remains a satisfying fact that current events do not feel at home in the stuffy, monotone atmosphere of a museum,” wrote Henk Peeters in 1960. Defiant words from the man who was at the basis of the exhibition Nul at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, barely two years later in the spring of 1962. Nul was the first internationally oriented ZERO exhibition within the walls of a prominent museum, organized by the artists themselves. The Dutch Informal Group and the Nul Group that evolved from it, of which Henk Peeters was a prominent member, liberated themselves from their geographical and artistic isolation by initiating and organizing their own exhibitions, seeking contact with kindred spirits outside the Netherlands, and also ultimately bringing this international avant-garde back to the Netherlands. Viewed as such, the origins of the breeding ground for ZERO initiatives in the Netherlands date back to the period of the Informal Group, from 1958 forward.
In the absence of support from commercial galleries and museums self-management was vital, and the Dutch avant-garde proved capable of manifesting and presenting itself, despite, or perhaps thanks to the lack of interest and support from institutions. Henk Peeters was a driving force........................................................
OUT: April 20th, 2017