Jan Henderikse Dutch, b. 1937


Jan Henderikse (b. 1937 Delft, The Netherlands), together with Henk Peeters, Armando and his great friend Jan Schoonhoven founded NUL in 1960, the Dutch ‘branch’ of the international ZERO movement.


In 1960 Jan Henderikse signed the Oberkasseler Brücke in his new hometown of Düsseldorf. This act marks an artistic departure in his life. He had left the Netherlands and his native city of Delft the previous year. He had also left painting permanently behind him. Interesting developments were afoot in Düsseldorf. ZERO was founded there by Heinz Mack and Otto Piene and Uecker joins them.


ZERO in Germany, NUL in the Netherlands, AZIMUTH in Italy and NOUVEAU RÉALISME in France: movements with parallel ways of thinking and objectives and with friendly connections. What they have in common is the rejection of the art of painting and of colour in general. It has to be monochrome and preferably white. Further important characteristics are seriality (mass-production-style manufacture of works of art) and repetition (repeating the same pattern).


For Henderikse art is not so much an object but rather an idea. He starts with objects that already exist and that were not produced as art. Corks, license plates, coins, odds and ends: Henderikse assembles them into reliefs. He is the ‘ready-mades’ man. Creating art by not making it yourself is actually his ultimate challenge. After all, for Jan Henderikse art is more an idea rather than an object.


Henderikse lives in Curacao, Antwerp and New York City. He was a principle participant in the important 2015 Guggenheim exhibition, “ZERO: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s-60s”.