Untitled Relief (170 Squares) is an arresting example of Jan Schoonhoven’s contemplative grid constructions, a recurring and seminal motif within his oeuvre. The meditative repetition of the papier-mâché squares induces a sense of calm and serenity within the viewer, the endlessly repeating quadrangles conveying a unique form of mathematical beauty. The current lot distils into a concentrated singularity the ideals and concerns that remained consistent for Schoonhoven throughout his career; as a founder member of Nul, the Dutch counterpart of the internationally renowned Zero group, Schoonhoven shared common artistic aims with Piero Manzoni, Otto Piene, Lucio Fontana and Yves Klein. Nul and Zero strove to pare art back to the bare minimum, seeking to find the artistic possibilities beyond nothingness and to create artworks uncluttered by the detritus of everyday associations: ‘Zero is the incommensurable zone in which the old state turns into the new.’ (Otto Piene, ‘Die Entstehung der Gruppe ‘Zero,’’ The Times Literary Supplement, 3 September 1964). Schoonhoven’s works operate in a world beyond abstraction; all extraneous connotations are abandoned in an attempt to return to the pure state of beginning, a white canvas or structure conversely imbued with a myriad of possibilities.