KAREL APPEL (1921-2006)
Karel Appel was an influential Dutch painter known for his figurative abstract paintings employing a uniquely expressive use of color, form, and line. Appel’s work bears the influence of Jean Dubuffet and 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-war era. Appel was a co-founder of the CoBrA group in 1948 along with Asger Jorn and several other Danish, Belgian, and Dutch artists who were united in their rejection of rationalism and geometry, opting instead for more intuitive, expressive practices. Following a break in 1952 from CoBrA, Appel joined Art Informel, another group of abstract artists including Michel Tapié, Henri Michaux, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and Sam Francis. Born on April 25, 1921 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Appel created assemblages and sculptures where he experimented with materials, in addition to painting large-scale murals during his career. He died on May 3, 2006 in Zürich, Switzerland.