This website collects information about Nul-ZERO works by Dutch artist Armando, with the aim of compiling a catalogue raisonné. Collectors are kindly requested to register Armando's Nul-ZERO works via this website.
'Perhaps I am pursuing a romantic 'Gesamtkunstwerk'. But when I topple over, I would like my work to form a unity. A large, dark and solemn building' | Armando, 1989
Since the 1950s, Dutch artist Armando (Amersfoort, 1929-Potsdam, 2018) has established a reputation as a true uomo universalis, with an oeuvre that is unique in both form and content. As a painter and a sculptor, as a poet-writer, but also as a television and theater maker, Armando belonged to a post-war vanguard of artistic innovators.
The name Armando evokes associations with the grandiose painterly gesture, with proud canvases that withstand the test of time. Armando's themes are as poetic as they are unruly, and his 1987 lecture 'On Beauty' underlines the stature of his artistic program. His words teaches us about the beauty of evil, the appeal of the Furchtbar-Schöne, but above all about his deep-rooted desire 'to let the din of man and nature come to rest in a work of art.'
With his informal canvases and panels from the 1950s, Armando proved early on to be a 'man of matter', to be an artist who thrives on the struggle with paint. And yet, the years of the Dutch Nul group, in the early 1960s, formed a short anti-painterly interlude. It resulted in cool, almost industrial-looking works of art from which the personal handwriting seems to have almost disappeared.
Titles from the late fifties such as Peinture criminelle and Espace criminel received sober successors during the Nul-ZERO years such as Nine black bolts on white (Negen zwarte bouten op wit) and Red plates (Rode platen). 'Everything was beautiful,' Armando recalled about the lure of the everyday, about steel bolts, shiny sheet metal and the fathomless depth of an Amsterdam canal by night - the inspiration for his iconic installation Black water, (Zwart water, 1964).
Armando's thinking about art and life was based on his rock-solid belief in human ingenuity ánd failure, on his belief in the creative mind, science and the human intellect. Philosophy and cultural history were important sources, as were the emotionally charged memories of his youth near Polizeiliches Durchgangslager Amersfoort, an internment and penal camp of the German occupier.
These elements form a foundation for Armando's entire oeuvre, for his grand, lyrical canvases, his writings, his sculptures - and for the apparently sober works from the years of the Dutch Nul group.
Editor catalogue raisonné Armando's Nul-ZERO works