Henk Peeters

born in The Hague, The Netherlands, in 1925
lives and work in Hall, The Netherlands


Henk Peeters uses his work to make the viewer conscious of his environment; he wants to bring about a sensitive consciousness. The materials that Peeters selects for his works frequently have a very tactile appeal, while he simultaneously creates a certain untouchability; thus he used fire on canvases, leaving behind traces of thick smoke, or burned holes into plastic, the so-called 'pyrographies'. With these - often white - works he was visually closely associated with the German zero artists. There was also a clear relationship with nouveau realisme. Peeters used ready-mades which he isolated in his work of art. In these he had a preference for modern, clean, industrial materials such as plastic and nylon. Peeters once said: 'With my work, I have always wanted it to look just as fresh as if it was in the HEMA (a Dutch chain store). It must not be artified... I have no need for artistic cotton wool.' Henk Peeters also worked with natural processes such as light and water reflections, and with ice, rain, snow and mist. Art and life should be joined together inextricably. And thus Henk Peeters became in 1961 a work of art himself, when Piero Manzoni appointed him as one; this was certified and signed by the Italian artist. To this day Henk Peeters restores artworks from the nul period and remains an active spokesman for the group.

Henk Peeters studied Fine Art at the Koninklijke Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten in The Hague and taught from 1957 until 1972 at the Art Academy in Arnhem, the Netherlands. , where he met other Dutch artists, such as Kees van Bohemen, Jan Henderikse, Armando and Jan Schoonhoven. Together with these artists, in 1958, Peeters forms the Hollandse Informele Groep (Dutch Informal Group). The group ceases to exist in 1960, when Peeters, Hendrikse, and Armando start the NUL movement. Henke Peeters was a member of the international Zero movement. He inititated the (utopian) project 'zero on sea', with more than fifty participating artists from over ten countries. He has remained true to the fundamental concept of the nul movement up to the present day. His work was part of numerous group exhibitions and a number of solo exhibitions has been dedicated to him.