Netherlands, 1921 – Switzerland, 2006
Karel Appel was a major painter of the post-war era in the Netherlands, as renowned for his colorful personality as for his free-flowing, spontaneous approach to his work. As a founding member of the CoBrA group, along with his Dutch compatriots Corneille Guillaume Beverloo and Constant Nieuwenhuys, Appel developed a radically new approach to painting. He believed in a wholly unschooled form of creative expression, and looked to the art produced by children, mental patients, and artists working outside the canon (Folk artists) for inspiration. Appel created a vibrant and diverse body of work to rival that of Jean Dubuffet for its striking singularity of manner.