Sunday, 10 January 2016

Karel Appel Retrospective

Karel Appel, Vlammend Kind met Hoepel, 1961,olieverf op doek,
320 x 230 cm. Collectie Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris,
France© Karel Appel Foundation, c/o Pictoright Amsterdam, 2015
The Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in the Netherlands is commemorating the tenth anniversary of the death of Karel Appel in his homeland with a major exhibition of his work. Appel was one of the founders in 1948 of the avant-garde art movement Cobra, and his expressionist style is regarded as a pivotal and highly influential force in post war art. The retrospective brings together 67 paintings, 12 sculptures and more than 60 drawings, including those from when he was a member of Cobra.

A Battle Against the Canvas
In Jan Vrijman’s documentary film “The Reality of Karel Appel,” the painter appears like a martial artist baring his fighting spirit. Approaching a canvas larger than his height, Appel throws clumps of paint with such force that it shakes the cloth, thrashes colors with his brush and howls as he pours paint directly from its tube onto the canvas. Appel created bold paintings by having the colors themselves express emotion. Once he established his style, Appel maintained it during his more than 60-year-long career, allowing it to evolve endlessly in his experimental works.

Meticulous Preparation for Production
Appel’s style is expressionist and was characterized by a violent hurling of a moment of passion against the canvas, but in actuality he prepared meticulously before embarking on each work. He made detailed studies of the designs of the works of artists like Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Picasso and Mondrian and then drew many sketches to work out his design and carefully selected paints and tools.

After 1950
After moving to Paris in 1950, Appel received one international award after another. He continued thereafter to work vigorously, moving among his four ateliers in New York, Connecticut, Monaco and Tuscany. Appel died in 2006 in his then home in Zurich.

Karel Appel Retrospective: January 16 ― May 16, 2016 (Closed Mondays)

Gemeentemuseum Den Haag
Stadhouderslaan 41
2517 HV Den Haag
The Netherlands
Opening times:
Tuesday to Sunday: 11:00-17:00
Closed on Mondays