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Karel Appel (Dutch)
Born 1921, in Amsterdam, Netherlands – Died 2006, in Zurich, Switzerland
Lived and worked in Amsterdam, Paris, Rome and Florence, New York and Zurich
Karel Appel was an influential Dutch painter, printmaker, sculptor and ceramist known for his figurative abstract paintings employing a uniquely expressive use of color, form, and line. Appel’s work bears the influence of the Art Brut movement, aligning with its bold gestural style and rejection of the cultural and artistic values found in mainstream art of the post-World War II era. During his career Appel’s paintings became more thickly painted and employed swirling forms with grotesque imagery of animals, monsters and the human figure. Appel also created assemblages and sculptures where he experimented with materials. He also painted large-scale murals during his career. His limited edition silkscreen and lithographic prints are internationally collected.
Karel Appel studied at the State Academy in Amsterdam from 1940 to 1943. After the war he attempted to start anew by working in the spirit of children's drawings. His first one-man exhibition was held at Het Beerenhuis, Groningen, Netherlands, in1946. In 1947-48 Appel made some rough painted wood reliefs incorporating corks, pieces of timber, etc., with imagery of children. In 1948 he helped found the Experimental Group in Amsterdam, contributed to the periodical Reflex and took an active part in the COBRA group 1948-85.
Appel moved to Paris in 1950. He was awarded the UNESCO prize at the 1954 Venice Biennale and the 1960 Guggenheim International Award. He visited New York for the first time in 1957. In 1968 Appel began to make relief paintings, followed by painted sculptures fabricated in wood and polyester, and later in aluminum.
Karel Appel’s works are in major public collections around the world and in the United States in the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Every significant art museum across the country has Appel’s artworks in its collection.
Little Boy, 1969
Lithograph, Ed 66 of 200, 25" x 19"
Lithograph, Ed. 53 of 100, 30" x 21"