Karel Appel studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Amsterdam. His first solo exhibition took place in 1946 in Groningen. In the years following the end of World War Two he developed his own unique style of art, using found objects and pieces of timber in assemblages and other artworks. His earliest themes were associated with imagery of childhood, often featuring grotesque humans, monsters and animal forms. He was one of the founders of the Dutch Experimental Group in 1948, along with Guillaume Corneille and Constant Nieuwenhuys. All three artists left Amsterdam and moved to Paris, where they joined with Belgian and Danish artists to form the Cobra international art group. In 1949 he created a mural for a cafeteria located in the City Hall in Amsterdam, but public disapproval caused this to be covered over in whitewash for the next ten years. At the 1954 Venice Biennale he awarded the UNESCO prize. In the same year several works by Karel Appel were exhibited at the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York. In the late 1950s he painted a series of portraits of American jazz musicians and in 1960 he received the Guggenheim International Award for his art. Over two decades he painted murals for architectural projects and created public artworks in a wide range of media, including ceramic tiles, marble, glass and concrete. In the late 1960s he started to create sculptures from layers of polystyrene covered with plywood and paint. He then went on to use aluminum, plastic foam and carved polyurethane, which he painted to look like solid marble or wood. From the 1980s, up to his death in 2006, he created many paintings of still life subjects, landscapes and human figures. The subjects of these paintings were formed from free use of color and brushstrokes, without the discipline of drawing. Less
Karel Appel studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Amsterdam. His first solo exhibition took place in 1946 in Groningen. In the years following the end of World War Two he developed his own unique style of art, using found objects and pieces of More
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