Karel Appel

Karel Appel (April 25, 1921May 3, 2006) was a Dutch painter and sculptor. He was one of the founders of the avant-garde movement COBRA in 1948.

SourcedEdit

  • It’s (painting like this – you are in front of your canvas, your hands holds the painting, ready, raised. The canvas waits, waits, empty and white – but all the time it knows what it wants. So – what does it want, anyway? My hand comes near, my eyes begin to transform the waiting canvas; and when – with my hand holding the paint and my eyes seeing the forms – I touch the canvas, it trembles, it comes to life. The struggle begins, to harmonize canvas, eye, hand forms. New apparitions stalk the earth, c. 1953
    • 'Karel Appel, Painter', Hugo Claus, Harry N. Abrams, New York, 1962; as quoted in "Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art"", eds. Kristine Stiles & Peter Selz, University of California Press, 1996, p. 98


  • I don’t paint, I hit. (around 1958)
    • in the movie “De werkelijkheid van Karel Appel”, Jan Vrijman; as quoted in “De Tweede Helft”, Ad de Visser, SUN Nijmegen, 1998


  • The duty of the artist is not to be calculating in any sense, so that he may be free himself of human emotions while carried by the universal forces of life. Only then does one not think about making art, or about styles, or directions. Something comes about, something happens.
    • “Karel Appel – the complete sculptures”, eds. Harry de Visser / Roland Hagenberg, Edition Lafayette, New York 1990


  • Through play, we renew contact with childhood – My art is childlike.
    • “Karel Appel – the complete sculptures”, eds. Harry de Visser / Roland Hagenberg, Edition Lafayette, New York 1990


  • My brush-strokes start in nothing and they end in nothing, and in-between you find the image.
    • ‘The eye of the beholder’, Carlo McCormick, in “Karel Appel – the complete sculptures”, eds. Harry de Visser / Roland Hagenberg, Edition Lafayette, New York 1990


  • As an artist you have to fight and survive the wilderness to keep your creative freedom. Creativity is very fragile. It’s like a leaf in the fall; it hangs and when it drops you don’t know where it’s drifting.
    • ‘Quotes’, Karel Appel (1989), as quoted in “Karel Appel – the complete sculptures”, eds. Harry de Visser / Roland Hagenberg, Edition Lafayette, New York 1990, p. 91


  • All the absurdity and hope are the stimulants to create. You make art to find a little hole to go on. You go through the whole to find the world again, and the absurdity is that still, somehow it is the same... ...Hopelessness and hope are the same. It’s a very thin line you don’t see any more. I don’t believe in that line between hopelessness and hope today.
    • ‘The eye of the beholder’, Carlo McCormick in “Karel Appel – the complete sculptures”, eds. Harry de Visser / Roland Hagenberg, Edition Lafayette, New York 1990, p. 71


External linksEdit

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Last modified on 13 April 2014, at 14:35