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Reset - Karel Appel

Galleries Slewe

Kerkstraat 105 A
1017 GD Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 6257214

Open Wed - Sat / 13-18 hrs
+ by appointment

16 Jan — 5 Mar

Time 15 Jan, 17-19 hrs


When you think of the artist Karel Appel (1921-2006), you see wild colourful, expressionistic brush strokes, accompanied by Jazz Music of Dizzy Gillespie, or primitive drawings by children and strong coloured baroque images. The most well known Dutch painter after World War II painted ‘from the expression’. However his painterly career has shown another side as well. Around 1975, after an impasse, he renewed his oeuvre by going back to the basics of painting it self. His way of working became more meditative and abstract. This period is not well known and not valued well by most people in the art world. A selection of eight paintings from this period 1978-1980 will now be on view at Slewe Gallery from January 16 through March 5.

The paintings, originated in the South of France, feature a new palette of broken tones. Whereas in the early years Appel mixed his colours directly with a palette knife on the canvas, now they are mixed beforehand and applied with broad brushes. Motifs as trees and field are absorbed in an all over pattern of rhythmic applied straight brushstrokes. A waving pulsating surface arises as a colourful tapestry or an open field in nature.

Appel himself said about this period, he had enough of his baroque painting and was looking for a new starting point in order to come to a new imagery. These painting show the path to this new style. Using a flat brush, he starts working in a rather atypical, disciplined style of more controlled, short brushstrokes, which are rhythmically patterned across the canvas. In those years Appel saw a new catalogue on the work of Vincent Van Gogh, which turned out to be an important source of inspiration.

This exhibition is part of a new interest in the work of Karel Appel. At the same time an overview of his work will open at the Gemeentemuseum The Hague, which runs form January 16 to May 16. At the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München of the Pinakotek der Moderne an overview of his drawings will open February 4, which had been earlier on view at the Centre Pompidou. Summer 2016 an exhibition with his works will be opened at the Philips Collection in Washington and in 2107 there will be a large overview at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville in Paris.

The exhibition has been organized in collaboration with the karel Appel Foundation. For more information please contact the gallery.


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