new-york

Karel Appel, Between Mud and Heaven, 1962, oil on canvas, 51 1/4 × 63 3/4".

Karel Appel

Blum & Poe | New York

Karel Appel, Between Mud and Heaven, 1962, oil on canvas, 51 1/4 × 63 3/4".

Karel Appel (1921–2006) was a key member of Cobra, an artist collective that banded together after World War II to survey not only the war’s destruction but also the possibilities of creation: Perhaps more than anything, it sought to bring “outside” energies to the project of Continental reconstruction. The group’s name was a chimera pieced together from the first letters of the artists’ home cities—Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam—and there is no doubt that the moniker was meant as a venomous threat to Paris, which at the time was still the (teetering) capital of modern art. To a certain degree, Cobra’s efforts were successful, at least insofar as the group made itself known in the citadels of high culture: Appel’s works are well represented in public collections the world over, though it is only recently that curators have started to bring them back up from storage

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