KAREL APPEL AND THE COBRA MOVEMENT
The Dutch artist Karel Appel (1921 – 2006) was marked by World War ll, which left life-long scars. This made him rebel against the folly of the establishment that had caused all the devastation. It also kindled his creativity, and with no concern for traditions and conventions, he became free to find his own technique, manner of expression and subjects.
Appel is considered one of the most influential artists of the post-war generation in Holland. He was an abstract painter, known for his frenetic, wild and edgy style. He used vibrant and pure colours and a strong brushstroke and would bring the paint to life in a way that no other artist did. His stroke was not always realised with a brush, as the paint could come directly from the tube or he would use a scalpel, a knife or his fingers to spread his thick paint. His strokes were chaotic and uninhibited, ending with smears and drips that hid parts of his thick black lines. His glaring and startling colours could be shocking, but his answer to such reactions was: ”if I paint like a barbarian, it’s because we live in a barbarous age”.
'The Young Desert Fellow' 1950
'Street Singer' 1952