Karel Appel (1921 - 2006) was born Karel Christiaan Appel, in Amsterdam, Holland. He studied at the Royal Academy in Amsterdam in 1940-43. In 1958 he moved to Paris, and subsequently moved to New York in 1959.
Appel sought to develop an impulsive formal language based on life, in reaction to geometric academicism. He even founded with others an experimental group. In Paris in 1949, he focused on mastering creative power and did canvases that "look like they were done in a rage". (Schatz) An action painter, Appel gives full rein to his violent expressionism in numerous mural compositions and in stained glass windows.
Appel's career was as turbulent as his paintings. When he did a mural for the canteen in Amsterdam's city hall, some diners threw their lunches at it. Some years later when he designed six stained glass windows for a new church in the town of Zaandam, 300 parishioners refused to contribute to the building fund. To Appel, painting is 'a battle.' He pops his colors directly out of the tube, smears them around with fingers, palette knife and occasionally a brush. When the heavy, screaming colors look curdled enough, Appel appends a title, usually one that has no relation to the painting, since one cannot determine any subject matter to the canvas.
Appel was an impetuous and indefatigable worker, whose creative energy seems inexhaustible. The world which he creates does not originate from a circumspect handling of ideas, but from an incessant exploration of form and color, of material, and especially of the personal gesture. The images which he evokes in this way are highly concrete and tangible; "they have the same truth as things that have grown and developed, that have not merely been invented. Only after their emergence do Appel's images start to lead their own private lives, sometimes softly poetical, sometimes grim and aggressive". (Schatz)
His work has been exhibited at major museums and galleries, including the Guggenheim Museum New York, the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Bruxelles, and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.
He was awarded the UNESCO Prize at the 27th International Biennale in Venice, and the first prize at the Guggenheim International Exhibition in New York in 1960. He won the Graphics prize at the Ljubljana Biennial in Yugoslavia, the International Prize for Painting at the São Paulo Bienal, and the John Solomon Guggenheim Fellowship Award - New York, USA.
So many of his works have sold for tens of thousands of dollars, with one sold for over $1,000,000.00.
Artist: Karel Christiaan Appel (1921 - 2006).
Medium: Ink and Watercolor on paper.
Signed: Lower Center.
Size: 4 1/2 by 6 1/2 inches (sight), framed 19 3/4 by 16 3/4 inches.
Condition: Toning. Otherwise Good.