Karel Appel


This retrospective of 65 paintings and sculptures by the 70-year-old Karel Appel demands a good deal of art-historical revision. It becomes clear that Appel’s Cobra paintings were among the most innovative European artworks made in the half-decade immediately following World War II, and that they had a significant impact on the development of German neo-Expressionism in the late ’70s and early ’80s. It also becomes clear that Appel’s contribution to “Un autre art”—Michel Tapiés’ movement in Paris in the early ’50s—is as great as that of Jean Dubuffet, who shared many of his visual ideas with Appel (for example, the use of graffiti and the art of the insane). Appel’s wooden sculptures of the ’60s—made from the roots of thousand-year-old olive trees—are among the most vital sculptures of this century. Additionally, Appel’s work of the ’80s—the exhibition juxtaposes new and old works, sometimes

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