Fluttering gently over the monochromatic canvas, in Henk Peeters’ Witte Veertjes op Zwart, 1962-1967, a cluster of downy white chicken feathers is arranged in an elegant formal geometry. Dating from Peeters’ significant early practice, with its fragile composition and tactile material, Witte Veertjes op Zwart bridges the divide between the organic and synthetic, encapsulating the coincidence of everyday life with art, which Peeters sought to validate within his oeuvre. Executed in a palette of pure white, Witte Veertjes op Zwart speaks to the influence of Lucio Fontana’s ‘Manifesto Blanco’ over Peeters’ aesthetic, creating a juxtaposition between the transient quality of the ephemera employed as material, and the infinity of space and light signified by white. Closely associated with the influential German ZERO movement and the Nouveau Réalistes, Peeters was instrumental in the founding of the Dutch Nul group in 1960 alongside artists Armando, Jan Schoonhoven and Jan Henderikse. Opposed to the expressive aesthetic and gestural freedom of the avant-garde CoBrA movement, Nul aimed for an objective art divorced from illusionism or existential angst, in which art and life were inextricably linked. ‘To change the world’, Peeters argued, ‘is to start seeing the world. Then perhaps it can stay as it is’ (H. Peeters, quoted in Zero: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s-1960s, exh. cat., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2014, p. 30). Begun in the same year as the historic exhibition, Nul 1962, organised by Peeters at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, which brought together international artists associated with the ZERO movement, Witte Veertjes op Zwart embodies ZERO’s philosophy, defined by founding member Otto Piene as ‘a zone of silence and pure possibilities for a new beginning as at the countdown when ockets take off – zero is the incommensurable zone in which the old state turns into the new’ (O. Piene, quoted in Zero: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s-1960s, exh. cat., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2014, p. 16). Enormously influential in the promotion of ZERO’s objectives in The Netherlands, works by Peeters were included in the recent landmark exhibition, Zero: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s-1960s held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.