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Published on the occasion of the exhibition at Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, 3 December 2015 – 16 May 2016, and including 67 paintings, 12 sculptures and more than 60 drawings, Karel Appel: Retrospective demonstrates that Dutch artist Karel Appel (1921–2006) was much more than just a member of the avant-garde Cobra group, and more than the flamboyant personal image he cultivated. “I’m tackling two clichés,” Franz Kaiser, the exhibition’s curator, told The New York Times. “One is that Appel was always identified with Cobra and the other one is that Karel was ‘just messing around.’” Appel had a long and varied career before and after Cobra; the artist worked steadily until his death in 2006. Taking stock of Appel’s entire oeuvre, this volume explores the artist’s early interest in outsider art, his wide-ranging stylistic experiments and his highly individual interpretations of traditional genres such as the nude, the portrait and the landscape. 

In addition to essays by Rudi Fuchs, Klaus Ottmann and Dr Franz-W. Kaiser, this catalogue contains an interview with art critic Michel Ragon, one of the last remaining first-hand witnesses of Appel’s Cobra period in Paris. Thanks to new research, this publication also includes both a detailed chronology and a completely updated version of Karel Appel’s renowned counter-cultural manifesto. 

Physical description:
Hardcover; 264 pages
Köln: Walther König, 2016
ISBN: 9783863358846