Contemporary, Modern Art and Old Masters

Auction 179 - 15 May 2021

Contemporary, Modern Art and Old Masters Lot 391

Karel Appel (The Netherlands / 1921 - 2006)
Big bird with person (ca. 1978)


€ 100 000 - 140 000


Bright red, dramatic blue with dripping paint. Patches of color that are almost violently attacked with powerful black, white and green strikes. The person depicted is screaming his head off. Karel Appel's powerful brushstrokes are tangible and audible. The emotion, the oppressed energy is uncontrollable and bursts out of the canvas.

Next to the figure, which is an undefined creature, stands a bird. The bird is one of Apple's favorite animals, and a prominent feature in his art. It is a symbol of expectation, always heading towards the future. But it is also a symbol of passion and tragedy. It's a dubious animal, piercing false truths with its prying eye.

"I'd really like to have the eye of an animal who'd taken it into its head to paint the human world."

Like the eye of an animal, the artist's eye is triggered by what moves around him to which he responds with his poetic creations. In his paintings he tries to unveil what is hidden, dormant or obscured. The act of painting explodes into a wildness with which Appel almost literally attacks the canvas.

As a result Appel depicts a materialized primary force which resembles a childlike representation. Art is an exalted form of primitiveness, transcendent to the creative. It is madness, ecstasy, animalism, but also universal harmony, the pure and genuine idea.

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