Karel Appel
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Karel Appel was born in Amsterdam in 1921. His training took place in Amsterdam, where in 1946 he exhibited in a first solo show. First linked to the Dutch "Reflex" movement, in 1949 he was one of the founders of the "Cobra Group" together with Corneille and Jorn. From this date his activity is linked to the rapid spread of the movement in Europe, and to the numerous exhibitions dedicated to him. In 1953 the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels dedicated a personal exhibition to him; in 1954 he exhibited for the first time in Paris at the Facchetti gallery. In 1961 there were three major retrospectives in American museums: in Pasadena, Phoenix, Santa Barbara, and in 1965 in museums in Gothenburg, Brussels, Amsterdam and Stockholm. Among the most recent exhibitions: those at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris (1968) and at the Art Gallery in Toronto (1973).

The strong expressionistic charge of his painting originates in the poetics of the Cobra movement: in Appel it is entrusted first and foremost to the suggestive power of pictorial, barbaric and ringing matter, sumptuously rich and evocative. Especially in early works, under the influence of American action painting, a declared gestural violence is combined. The most recent works are increasingly oriented towards a recovery of the image: the dramatic charge of the first works seems to subside in an ironic playful dimension, and in a more accentuated constructive commitment. Since 1968 they date the carved assemblages within clear areas of color and, more recently, the all-round sculptures made of colored and painted wood.

Tags: Karel Appel - Appel -Cobra Group - Corneille - Jorn