Aug 7, 2013

Des Animaux

Des Animaux


Karel Appel

(Dutch, 1921–2006)

Oil on canvas

Unframed: 73 x 100.3 cm (28 3/4 x 39 1/2 in.)

In memory of Mattis Y. Goldman, Gift of his wife Ruth, and children, Carole and Alvin 1967.79



The COBRA Manifesto declared in 1948, "A painting is not a construction of colors and lines, but an animal, a night, a scream, a human being, or all of these." More than any other member of COBRA, Karel Appel's work embodies this tenet. Appel has often expressed his belief that art should be a conduit between the inner child, the spirit and freedom of the artist, and the outside world. With Des Animaux, he succeeded at re-creating the spontaneity and perpetual sense of discovery that are typical of childhood. Painted the year Appel first visited the United States and met Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning and Sam Francis, Des Animaux suggests two almost primordial animals swimming in thick whorls of oil paint. Appel clearly enjoyed playing and experimenting with the paint, which he layered and shaped both with brushes and
his fingers.

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