CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Karel Appel: pastorale chiaroscuro

Karel Appel: pastoral chiaroscuro Exhibition: 28 April - 24 June 2001

From the website of, 9 March 2009

He is a sculptor, graphic artist and ceramist; he has choreographed a ballet and designed sets; but above all, Karel Appel has remained the painter that he has been since the beginning. The Stedelijk Museum celebrates his 80th birthday, on April 25, 2001, with an extensive exhibition of his painting from the past decade.

Since his first exhibition (“Young Painters,” 1946) the Stedelijk Museum has closely followed the Appel’s career and regularly organised exhibitions of his current work. The present exhibition stands in this tradition. A large proportion of the works are landscapes which were produced during his stays in Tuscany. The nude too is a conspicuous theme. The approximately 70 paintings in the exhibition vary in style; in some works Appel seems to have more than ever rediscovered the raw rage to paint of earlier times, while others are on the contrary strikingly modest in colour, composition and the handling of the paint. In addition the exhibition contains various paintings in combination with objects that are introduced onto the canvasses. Such variation is the thread that runs through all the themes which are represented in the exhibition, from the Nude Figures from 1990, the works under the title Horizon of Tuscany from 1995, through No Goodbyes from 1997 and Up to the Sky from 1998. As a foretaste of the present exhibition, in the summer of 2000 in the Museum’s Gallery of Honour 18 paintings were to be seen which the painter, who lives in New York, had made that same year in The Netherlands. One of them, Seated Nude, from 2000, has been purchased by the Museum and is now being exhibited again. Many of the other works in this show have never been exhibited previously.

A catalogue will appear with the exhibition with essays by Johannes Gachnang and Jean Frémon, and an interview with Appel conducted by Rudi Fuchs. The book is produced in cooperation with NAi Uitgevers.


Shell Nederland B.V. (sponsor)

Related events

Exhib. Karel Appel: works on paper, 1940-2000

Exhib. Karel Appel: sculptures, 1936-2000