Karel Appel Dutch, 1921-2006


Karel Appel’s bright, expressionistic paintings helped set the aesthetic template for the mid-20th-century CoBrA group, which included Christian DotremontAsger Jorn, and Joseph Noiret. Inspired by folk and children’s art, the work of Jean Dubuffet, and the earlier modernist experiments of Joan Miró and Paul Klee, Appel used vivid primary colors and violent brushwork in his thickly impastoed canvases. Their suggestive compositions often resemble wildly abstracted figures.


Appel studied at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Amsterdam, and his work has been exhibited in New York, Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Vienna, Rome, and Zürich. Appel’s pieces are held in the collections of the Albertina, the Astrup Fearnley Museet, Moderna Museet, the Centre Pompidou, the Museum of Modern Art, the Stedelijk Museum, and the Guggenheim Museum (via Artsy).