Early in his career, painter herman de vries (who uses all lowercase letters as a symbol of his belief in equality) embraced randomness as an organizing principle. From 1961-66, he was a member of the Nul Group—a cohort of artists that included Henk Peeters, Jan Schoonhoven, and Armando—with whom he produced wall reliefs, large-scale installations, and happenings that explored principles such as repetition and the beauty of everyday objects and activities. Later on, de vries’s practice became quasi-scientific as he investigated plants with medicinal and hallucinogenic power. This led to such projects as the earth museum (1976), housed at the Museum Gassendi, Digne-les-Bains, which contains over 7,000 samples of earth that the artist gathered from all over the world. de vries keeps beautiful journals that include plant specimens, drawings, paintings, and notes.