Karel Appel

Karel Appel was a Dutch painter and sculptor who was born in 1921 and passed away in 2006. He was one of the founding members of the CoBrA movement, which emphasized spontaneity and rejected established art conventions. Appel’s style is characterized by his bold and expressive use of color and brushwork, often incorporating elements of childlike simplicity and naivety.

Appel’s importance in relation to abstract art lies in his contribution to the development of the movement in the post-World War II era. Along with his CoBrA colleagues, he rejected the traditional art conventions that had dominated Europe before the war, and sought to create a new form of art that was free from rigid rules and formulas. Appel’s work embodied the spirit of this movement, with its emphasis on spontaneity, raw emotion, and the use of vivid color.

Appel’s work also helped to bridge the gap between European and American abstract art, as he spent significant time in New York City during the 1950s, where he became associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement. While his style remained distinctively European, his work helped to connect the two continents in their shared pursuit of a new, more expressive form of abstract art.

Overall, Karel Appel’s importance in relation to abstract art lies in his contribution to the development of a new form of art that rejected traditional conventions and emphasized individual expression, spontaneity, and the use of bold color and brushwork. His work remains influential to this day, and can be found in the collections of museums around the world.

“My paint tube is like a rocket which describes its own space. I try to make the impossible possible. What is happening I cannot forsee; it is a surprise. Painting, like passion, is an emotion full of truth and rings a living sound–like the roar coming from the lion’s breast.”

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