Karel Appel (Amsterdam, 1921) is a Dutch artist. He was the son of a hairdresser and after an argument with his father he went to the Rijksacademie voor Beeldende Kunsten. During the Second World War, Appel met Corneille during his training.
Karel Appel was co-founder of CoBrA on 8 November 1948. He is probably the most famous member of the movement in the Netherlands. He became especially famous for his credo “I mess around”. His work caused a lot of uproar in the Dutch art world of the 1940s and 1950s. For example, his wall painting “Questioning Children” from 1949 in the canteen of the Amsterdam town hall brought about a real scandal. At the insistence of indignant officials this ‘twist apple’ was even covered by the municipality and the artwork was hidden behind wallpaper for ten years.
In the Cobra years, Karel Appel painted bright, colorful colors, simple forms and solid lines of friendly, innocent children and fantasy animals. Even after the collapse of CoBrA, he has managed to retain this emotional approach. In the fifties he developed an increasingly violent way of painting; line and color surface melted together in a paint mass.
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