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Insect
Insect Insect

By Karel C Appel

Insect
Insect Insect

A large-eyed, insect-like creature stares the viewer in the face. The intense colours, in particular the dominant red, and the thick layers of roughly applied paint give the beast a dynamic, if not wild, character. This is typical of most of the creatures painted by Karel Appel. Appel worked on these paintings without a predetermined plan. His primary concern was his spontaneous surrender to his materials. As he himself put it: ‘I just mess around a bit. Nowadays I lay it on pretty thickly: I fling the paint on with brushes, palette knives and my bare hands. Sometimes I throw full pots at it in one go.’ Pictures would emerge by themselves while painting. The image of the artist ‘messing around’, created by Appel himself, for many, made hum the prototype of the ‘modern artist’: a person who created pieces that ‘you could paint yourself’. Although many abhorred Cobra paintings such as this one, Appel and his kindred souls gave the art of painting an original new twist.

Year

1953

Material

olieverf op doek | oil on canvas

Dimensions

88,3 x 115 cm

Credit

Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem

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