Karel Appel: A Gesture of Color

Paintings and Sculptures, 1947–2004

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21 x 26 cm
80 Pages
24 ills.
June 2016

ISBN 978-3-944874-48-7 (English)


»It is painting and sculpture at its best. It is close to the heart, animalistic, idealistic, and thoroughly experimental.« (Klaus Ottmann, curator of the exhibition, p. 6)

Karel Appel (1921–2006) is along with Piet Mondrian and Willem de Kooning one of the most renowned Dutch artists of the twentieth century and a founding member of the avant-garde Cobra group. Marking the tenth anniversary of the artist’s death, this survey of twenty-two paintings and sculptures provides a fresh look at an artistic production that spans more than sixty years. A Gesture of Color embraces the broad spectrum of his work, from his early interest in children’s art and his stylistic experiments to his highly expressive and gestural—and sometimes almost abstract—interpretation of traditional subjects like the nude, the portrait, and the urban and rural landscape.

Klaus Ottmann (b. 1954) studied philosophy in Berlin and earned a PhD in philosophy from the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. He has curated more than forty exhibitions, including shows on James Lee Byars, Wolfgang Laib, Man Ray, and Hiroshi Sugimoto, and contributed to numerous museum catalogues and journals. He is currently Deputy Director for Curatorial and Academic Affairs at The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., and the publisher and editor of Spring Publications.

 Exhibition: Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., June 18 – September 18, 2016