Karel Appel, born in Amsterdam,
1921, studied at Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Amsterdam
beginning in 1943.Following World War II he was drawn
to the expressive work of Jean Debuffet.
In 1948 Appel and
a group of Dutch artists formed the Dutch Experimental Group
publishing the periodical "Reflex". They were later joined
by such artists as Corneille, Asger Jorn and Pierre Alechinsky
to form the international group Cobra (Copenhagen,
Brussels, Amsterdam), where they exploited free expression
of the unconscious, unimpeded and undirected by the intellect.
In 1950 Appel moved
to Paris where he became well known for his humorous, crude
imagery and stormy painting style. Appel was awarded the
UNESCO prize at the Venice Biennale exhibition in 1954
and in 1960 was given first prize at the Guggenheim
In the late 1960's
he began working with three-dimensional forms in wood, plastic
and metal, a development of his collage works.
In 1972 he began to
live and work part of each year in New York City. A collaboration
with the American poet Allen Ginsbergh in 1982 produced
a colorful series of paintings and visual poems.
Appel is regarded as the
most powerful of the postwar generation of Dutch artists.
His works are included in many public collections.