Karel Appel  (Dutch, 1921-2006) 

Painter and sculptor Karel Appel (Dutch, 1921–2006) co-founded the art group CoBrA and is known for his vibrant, forceful abstracted works, which helped introduce a new era of expressive painting in Europe. Appel was born in Amsterdam and attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in the early 1940s. He was drawn to the animated, primitive style of Jean Dubuffet (French, 1901–1985) in the years following the repressive, isolated environment of WWII in Amsterdam. In 1948 he founded CoBrA—an acronym for the cities the artists were from: Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam—with fellow artists Asger Jorn (Danish, 1914–1973), Guillaume Corneille (Dutch, 1922–2010), and Pierre Alechinsky (Belgian, b.1927), advocating expressive and spontaneous painting techniques drawing on Folk Art and primitive imagery. Appel’s work received both broad critical acclaim and unfavorable criticisms; a mural he painted on commission for the Amsterdam City Hall featured depictions of cynically smiling children so disturbing to workers that the mural was ordered to be covered up. In 1950 he moved to Paris, where he continued to gain critical recognition for his ironic imagery, bold brushstrokes, and energetic color. He received the UNESCO prize at the Venice Biennale in 1954, and the first prize at a Guggenheim International exhibition in 1960. In later years Appel also worked with sculpture, assemblage, poetry, lithography, and set design. He held solo exhibitions around the world, in cities including New York, London, Paris, Milan, and Tokyo. Appel died at his home in Zürich in 2006, at 85 years old.

Find Karel Appel artworks for sale worldwide, artworks that sold at auction, a detailed biography, and more information on the artist below.
envelope Get email alerts about this artist!  
Artworks for sale (84)
In Art Galleries (81)
Dealers selling (49)
Dealers Buying (5)
In Upcoming Auctions (4)

Sold Artworks
In Recent Auctions (1)
In Past Auctions (8958)

Exhibitions (2)
Auctions (7)
Art Fairs (1)

artnet Magazine
Articles (16)

More Information
artnet Analytics Reports
Market Reports
* paid service

Artworks for sale (84)

View All   

Karel Appel, L'homme oiseau


Karel Appel
L'homme oiseau
Auction: Apr 29, 2014
Stockholms Auktionsverk
View Details | entire auction
Karel Appel, Untitled


Karel Appel

Karel Appel, Some People Together V


Karel Appel
Some People Together V

Karel Appel, Personnage


Karel Appel
Jane Kahan Gallery
Karel Appel, Le petit ludenum


Karel Appel
Le petit ludenum

Auction: Apr 27, 2014
Perrin, Royere, Lajeunesse - Versailles Enchères
View Details | entire auction
Karel Appel, Elephant


Karel Appel

Auction: Apr 24, 2014
Heffel Fine Art Auction House
View Details | entire auction
Karel Appel, Elephant


Karel Appel

Heffel Fine Art
Karel Appel, Bedized Pudding Canadian Suite (set of 6 works)


Karel Appel
Bedized Pudding Canadian Suite (set of 6 works)

Auction: Apr 28, 2014
Phillips New York
View Details | entire auction
Karel Appel, Evening Walk


Karel Appel
Evening Walk

Mojo Portfolio
Past auction results (8958)  View All
Karel Appel, Astratto


Karel Appel
Astratto, 1995
oil on canvas


View Details
Karel Appel, Carpet


Karel Appel
carpet, polychrome decorated


View Details
Karel Appel, Personnage (Character)


Karel Appel
Personnage (Character), 1962
oil on canvas


View Details

1921   Born: in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1940 - 1943   Studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1948   Founds the Cobra Group
1950   Moved to Paris, France
1954   Received the UNESCO Prize at the Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
1958   Became an internationally recognized artist
2006   Died: in Zürich, Switzerland
2013   Modern Print Masters Stock - The Watermill, Aberfeldy, Perthshire (Scotland)
Chronicles Of Dopobomba - Museo d`Arte Contemporanea Lissone, Lissone
Artistic Relationships: Partners, Mentors, Lovers - Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Charlotte, NC
Appassionata. Die Sammlung Selinka Im Dialog - Kunstmuseum Ravensburg, Ravensburg
Karel Appel - Robinsons Art Gallery, Knokke-Zoute
2012   Karel Appel – I don’t paint, I hit! - Museum Jorn (former Silkeborg Art Museum), Silkeborg
Karel Appel - Gallery LL, Amsterdam
The Art of Summer: Contemporary & Modern Works - Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Los Angeles, CA
The Biennial of Painting: The Image of Man - MDD - Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle
Cobra - 1000 Days of Free Art - SSM - Sakip Sabanci Müzesi, Istanbul
2011   Karel Appel: The Expression of Color - Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, MI
Europe at Mid-Century: Dubuffet, Giacometti, Picasso - MFA - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, MA
Painterly Abstraction, 1949-1969: Selections from the Guggenheim Collections - Museo Guggenheim de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo, Bilbao
Focus: Abstraktion - Werke Aus Der Sammlung Essl - ESSL MUSEUM - KUNST DER GEGENWART, Klosterneuburg
2010   Painting on the Sea, The Sea as Pretext, Works from the IVAM Collection, Institut Valencià d'Art Modern, Valencia, Spain
Goya and the Modern World, Palazzo Reale, Milan, Italy
Le grand geste! International Painting from Pollock to Schumacher - Art Informel and Abstract Expressionism, Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf, Germany
2009   Karel Appel. Peintures 2000-2001, Galerie Lelong, Paris, France (solo)
Karel Appel. The Sixties, Galerie Ulysses, Vienna, Austria (solo)
2008   Karel Appel: Opere 1990-2002, Galleria Arte 92, Milan, Italy (solo)
Karel Appel. Jazz 1958-1962, Cobra Museum, Amstelveen, The Netherlands (solo)
Modern Prints - Klassische Moderne bis Pop Art, Galerie Proarta, Zurich, Switzerland
2007   Karel Appel. Monumentale Aktzeichnungen, Albertina, Vienna, Austria (solo)
Karel Appel. Works on Paper 1949 – 2005, Galerie Ulysses, Vienna, Austria (solo)
2006   Karel Appel. Last Paintings, Galerie Ulysses, Vienna, Austria (solo)
Pierre Alechinsky & Karel Appel. Peinture à quatre mains, Galerie Lelong, Zurich, Switzerland
2005   Karel Appel: Opere 1991 – 2002, Galleria Arte 92, Milan, Italy (solo)
Karel Appel Retrospective, Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum, Bratislava, Slovakia (solo)
Karel Appel. Paintings and Sculptures, Galerie Ulysses, Vienna, Austria (solo)
Karel Appel. Recent works, Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, The Netherlands (solo)
Karel Appel. Onderweg. Reis van Rudi Fuchs langs de kunst der Lage Landen, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium (solo)
2004   Karel Appel. New Works on Paper, JG Contemporary, New York, NY (solo)
Karel Appel. The Cobra Years, Galerie Ulysses, Vienna, Austria (solo)
2003   Karel Appel: oeuvres sur papier 1999-2002, Galerie Lelong, Paris, France (solo)
2002   Japanese Landscapes, Galerie Lelong, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
Mutation in Motion, , Galerie Ulysses, Vienna, Austria (solo)br>Karel Appel, Kunstforum Wien, Vienna, Austria (solo)
2001   Karel Appel, Pastorale Chiaroscuro, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (solo)
2000   Recente sculpturen & gedichten, S.M.A.K., Gent, Belgium (solo)
The Will to Power of the Planets Zomeropstelling 2000, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (solo)
1999   Toys from the Attic, Bergen Museum of Art, Norway (solo)
1998   Psychopathological Art, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (solo)
1996   Karel Appel. Gemälde, Gouachen, Zeichnungen 1950-1965, BAWAG Fondation, Vienna, Austria (solo)
1994   A Retrospective by Karel Appel, The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea (solo)
1993   Singing Donkeys, New Sculptures by Karel Appel, Paleis Lange Voorhout, The Hague, The Netherlands (solo)
1990   Karel Appel, Ik wou dat Ik een Vogel was (Karel Appel, If I Were a Bird), Haags Gemeente Museum, The Hague, The Netherlands (solo)
1989   Karel Appel, National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan (solo)
1987   Karel Appel. Dipinti, Sculpture e Collages, Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy (solo)
1986   Recent Paintings and Sculptures: Clouds, Windmills, Nudes and Other Mythologies, Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, FL (solo)
1984   Karel Appel, Oeuvres Recentes, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium (solo)
1982   The New Work of Karel Appel, Paintings 1979-1981, Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, the Netherlands (solo)
1978   Karel Appel Retrospective, Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela (solo)
1977   Karel Appel, Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, Mexico (solo)
1974   Karel Appel Retrospective, Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, FL (solo)
1972   Appel's Appels, Musée d'Art Contemporain, Montreal, Quebec (solo)
1968   Karel Appel, Reliefs 1966-68, Centre National d'Art Contemporain, Paris, France (solo)
1966   Karel Appel. Paintings 1947-65, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden (solo)
1965   Appel, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (solo)
1962   Karel Appel: Sculptures, 1962, Galerie Rive Droite, Paris, France (solo)
1961   Karel Appel, West Coast Exhibiton, San Francisco Art Museum, San Francisco, CA (solo)
1960   Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
1957   Paintings Karel Appel, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, UK (solo)
1953   Karel Appel, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium (solo)
  Tate Modern, London, UK
  Scottish National Galerie of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Scotland
  The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
  Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
  The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
  Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
  an Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
  Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.
  Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israël
  National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan
  Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan
  Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, Mexico
  Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  Cobra Museum, Amstelveen, The Netherlands
  Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain
  Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
  Mamac - Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Liege, Belgium
  Museo de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paolo, São Paolo, Brazil
  The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada
  Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
  Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
  Les Abattoires - Centre d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Toulouse, France
  Musée National d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporian, Nice, France
  Museum Ludwig, Köln, Germany
  Kunsthalle Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland
  Museum Moderner Kunst, Wien, Austria
  Musée Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium
  S.M.A.K., Gent, Belgium
2001    Karel Appel, Pastorale Chiaroscuro - Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Rotterdam, 2001
1994    Donald Kuspit, Karel Appel Sculpture : A Catalogue raisonné - Harry N. Abrams, New York, 1994
1988    Michel Ragon, Karel Appel : Peinture 1937 – 1957 - Galilée, Paris, 1988