Appel, Christiaan Karel(Dutch, 1921-2006)
Karel Appel was born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on April 25, 1921. During his youth, he was influenced by the literary works of Walt Whitman and the surrealist author, Comte de Lautréamont. He began to study fine art in 1944 at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Amsterdam. Upon completion, Appel visited Denmark and had his first encounter with the artists that would, along with himself, make up the Cobra group. It is also at this time that Appel began to develop a new artistic style where he and a group of young Dutch artists set up the Dutch Experimental Group in Amsterdam. The group began to publish a periodical called Reflex and some months later; the group merges with Danish and Belgian artists to become the International Cobra group. Appel and the Cobra artists rejected the art of the past that focused on well reasoned images and instead began to look to primitive and naïve artists for inspiration in order to produce art that was free from required forms and instead focused on capturing human emotions and mental states. Appel continued to regularly exhibit and evolve throughout his career; and on his 80th birthday, three Dutch museums: the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; the Cobra Museum in Amstelveen and the Haags Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, celebrated his work with exhibitions. Karel Appel died in his home in Zűrich, Switzerland on May 3, 2006.

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