The Tate London acquired several years ago one of the most essential and spectacular "burned" holes, a pyrography, by Henk Peeters. The research department from the Tate started a research project on Peeters's Burn Hole from 1961 and is currently preparing a publication on the research. It comprises six papers, five of which have been written by Professor Michael White, University of York; the sixth, a conservation paper, is by Carla Flack, Tate, and Dr. Emma Richardson, University College London. The project is scholarly, peer-reviewed, and will be published open-access on Tate's website.
Henk Peeters (°1925, The Hague) was considered one of the most active members of the Dutch NUL movement. Together with other Dutch artists such as Jan Schoonhoven, Armando and Jan Henderikse, he formed NUL in the 1960’s, which later joined the international movement ZERO. As a result of growing international contacts, Peeters initiated ‘Zero on Sea’, an art manifestation in the summer of 1965 on a pier in Scheveningen, including about 50 likeminded artists from over ten countries.
Peeters’ work is closely inspired by daily life and natural phenomena. By using mass-produced clinical materials such as nylon and plastic and assimilating them through processes like fire, ice, snow and mist, he aims to reinitiate the viewer’s consciousness towards his environment.
The artistic practice of Henk Peeters was known for its diversity in material and technique, going from burned canvasses to readymades bought in chainstores. Often these objects show a strong duality between being both tactile and untouchable. As the artist once said: “with my work, I have always wanted it to look just as fresh as if it was in the HEMA (the Dutch chain store). It must not be artified... I had no need for artistic cotton wool.”
The physical Henk Peeters Archive is at the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD) in The Hague (NL).