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PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF GALERIE OREZ-MOBIEL
Founded in April 1960, Galerie Orez in The Hague was responsible for launching the groundbreaking ZERO group onto the global stage upon which they are recognized today. It was through the visionary support of Leo Verboon, who co-directed the gallery between 1964 and 1971, that the movement was able to take its place within the international art world. It was from these pioneering origins that Galerie Orez-Mobiel was born in 1975: owned by Verboon, it became the main gallery to represent Jan Schoonhoven and Armando, two of the artists whose careers had been shaped by the original Galerie Orez.
With its name representing an inversion of the word ‘Zero’, Galerie Orez was pivotal in the development of the Nul group: the Dutch branch of the ZERO movement. Cofounded by Schoonhoven and Armando in conjunction with Jan Henderikse and Henk Peeters, the Nul artists continued the aesthetic trajectory set in motion by their German contemporaries Heinz Mack, Otto Piene and Günther Uecker. Embracing the avant-garde spirit of these artists, Verboon sought to present an alternative to 'art dealers where you can buy all sorts of stuff, like a department store’ (L. Verrboon, quoted in T. Gubbels, Galeries en kunsthandel in Nederland, Amsterdam 1999, p. 79). Under his joint leadership with Albert Vogel, Galerie Orez was committed to representing a select group of living international ZERO artists, many in the early stages of their careers. Like Alfred Schmela before him, Verboon provided an exhibition platform for the movement’s most important proponents, as well as a fertile creative meeting-place for artists to share and discuss ideas. It was here, for example, that Schoonhoven met Yayoi Kusama for the first time during the Japanese artist’s controversial ‘happening’ in 1967. This multinational environment provided the essential launchpad for the movement to grow beyond the confines of Europe, and for its vision to be amplified onto a global scale.