Ocula MagazineContentsView All
Featured ContentView All
Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible Ocula Report Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible 17 Apr 2019 : Federica Bueti for Ocula

I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...

Read More
Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui Ocula Conversation Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui

The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...

Read More
The National 2019: New Australian Art Ocula Report The National 2019: New Australian Art 13 Apr 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...

Read More

Karel Appel

(1921 - 2006), Netherlands

Throughout a nearly six-decade career, Appel pushed his studio practice to extremes, often shifting between abstraction and figuration, never content to settle on one signature style, media, or body of work. His earliest works, created during the time he co-founded the COBRA group with Asger Jorn, Christian Dotremont, and Constant, make evident his interest in the uninhibited artistic experience. As a member of the Dutch Experimental Group and later Art Informel, Appel drew his earliest and possibly greatest inspiration from folk art, children's drawings, and the works of the mentally disturbed. This is perhaps most clear in The Psychopathological Notebook, a collection of free-form drawings on pages of catalogue text from the International Exhibition on Psychopathological Art, 1950 at the Saint-Anne Hospital for the mentally ill in Paris. Visiting this exhibition on multiple occasions proved impactful for Appel and would inform much of his work in the following years.

At the suggestion of French critic Michel Tapié, Appel met gallerist Martha Jackson, who would give the artist his first one-person show in New York City in 1954 and continue to show his work for the next twenty years. During his time in New York in the late 1950s, Appel became friendly with Sam Francis, Jackson Pollock, fellow-Dutchman Willem DeKooning, Franz Kline, and other members of the Abstract Expressionist group, as well as Jazz luminaries Dizzie Gillespie, Miles Davis, Count Basie, and Sarah Vaughan. This circle of cultural producers was sympathetic to Appel's interest in a self-conscious investigation of the psychology of painting and would influence the artist's shift from realism to an emotionally charged, robustly active, and spontaneous abstract painting style. Having already begun with his peers in COBRA to explore an anticlassical stance in favor of what critic Hal Foster has termed the 'creaturely' — a 'pagan vernacular of the North in opposition to the official Christianity of the South' — Appel's time in New York allowed him to propel towards a de-aestheticised, boundless expressivity.

Appel spent much of the following half-century moving between New York and Europe. During his lifetime, the artist would participate in numerous one-person traveling exhibitions around the world and would represent the Netherlands in the 27th International Art Exhibition in the Venice Biennale.

Read More

Featured Artworks

View All (29)
Twee Figuren by Karel Appel contemporary artwork Karel AppelTwee Figuren, 1954 Oil on canvas
130 x 99 cm
rodolphe janssen
Out of Nature by Karel Appel contemporary artwork Karel AppelOut of Nature, 1996 Oil on canvas
60 x 48 x 1.75 inches
Blum & Poe
Out of Nature by Karel Appel contemporary artwork Karel AppelOut of Nature, 1996 Oil on canvas
60.25 x 48.25 x 1.75 inches
Blum & Poe
Out of Nature by Karel Appel contemporary artwork Karel AppelOut of Nature, 1996 Oil on canvas
60.25 x 48.25 x 1.75 inches
Blum & Poe
Out of Nature by Karel Appel contemporary artwork Karel AppelOut of Nature, 1996 Oil on canvas
60.25 x 48 x 1.75 inches
Blum & Poe
Out of Nature by Karel Appel contemporary artwork Karel AppelOut of Nature, 1995 Oil on canvas
60.25 x 48 x 1.75 inches
Blum & Poe
Out of Nature by Karel Appel contemporary artwork Karel AppelOut of Nature, 1995 Oil on canvas
60.25 x 48 x 1.75 inches
Blum & Poe
Out of Nature (Spring, Sprout, Bloom) by Karel Appel contemporary artwork Karel AppelOut of Nature (Spring, Sprout, Bloom), 1995 Oil on canvas
60.25 x 48.25 x 2 inches
Blum & Poe

Recent Exhibitions

View All (4)
Contemporary art exhibition, Karel Appel, Out of Nature at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
Closed
8 September–27 October 2018 Karel Appel Out of Nature Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
Contemporary art exhibition, Curated by Alison M. Gingeras, 'The Avant-Garde won't give up.' COBRA and its legacy. at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
Closed
5 November–23 December 2015 Curated by Alison M. Gingeras 'The Avant-Garde won't give up.' COBRA and its legacy. Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
Contemporary art exhibition, Cobra Group, The Avant-Garde Won’t Give Up: Cobra and Its Legacy at Blum & Poe, New York
Closed
10 September–17 October 2015 Cobra Group The Avant-Garde Won’t Give Up: Cobra and Its Legacy Blum & Poe, New York

Represented By

In Related Press

How the Benesse Art Site Naoshima Revitalized a Cluster of Japanese Islands Related Press How the Benesse Art Site Naoshima Revitalized a Cluster of Japanese Islands Architectural Digest : 23 February 2017

Yayoi Kusama's polka-dotted pumpkin overlooking the ocean, James Turrell's Open Sky installation, and an entire art space by Walter De Maria are just a few of the groundbreaking works on display at Benesse Art Site Naoshima, a cluster of once-polluted islands in Japan's Seto Inland Sea rehabilitated by contemporary art and architecture by Tadao...

Read More
A university with a playground attached: Frances Morris's vision for Tate Modern Related Press A university with a playground attached: Frances Morris's vision for Tate Modern Apollo Magazine : 19 June 2016

How does it feel to be the new director of Tate Modern just as the new building is about to open?It feels good, of course it feels good, as I have been very much part of Tate for a long time. But everything has always been a little bit of a push; it is a complicated organisation, and it’s taken a lot of advocacy internally, to create the...

Read More
The Continuing Triumph of Karel Appel Related Press The Continuing Triumph of Karel Appel Huffington Post : 18 January 2016

The celebration of Karel Appel continues. Having conquered Amsterdam, he is now honored in Paris, with a retrospective of his works on paper at the French national museum of modern art, at the Pompidou Center. It is appropriate to see Appel's art in Paris. With Amsterdam and New York, it was one of the three cities where Appel spent the greater...

Read More
Drawing on Humanity’s Animal Nature Related Press Drawing on Humanity’s Animal Nature Hyperallergic : 7 January 2016

PARIS — Karel Appel would start drawing by shimmering bright muck or line around until it eventually formed into semi-abstract philosophical lava, or monkey shit, or the poetry of release. That shimmering never really ends. His spontaneous drawings haunt his art practice as a sort of lost demon of pure exuberance.

Read More

Sign up to be notified when new artworks and exhibitions by Karel Appel are added to Ocula.

WeChat

Scan the QR Code via WeChat to follow Ocula's official account.

iCal GoogleYahooOutlook