20 February – 5 September 2011
Karel Appel (1921-2006) was one of the most famous 20th-century Dutch painters, just as Van Gogh was for the 19th century. And, in his own country at least, he was just as controversial. During his time as a member of the Cobra Group, commotion and consternation were largely his share. Only after his resounding successes abroad did appreciation grow for him in his native country. Appel’s famous comment ‘All I do is mess around’ is often taken too literally. His painting, which was consciously spontaneous and expressive, was also backed by a great knowledge of materials and the history of art. He was a thoroughgoing student of the work of his predecessors, from Mondrian to Picasso, from Rembrandt to Van Gogh. In this exhibition, which shows a variety of periods from Appel’s long painting career, the visitor will see how at various moments Appel found inspiration in the work of Vincent van Gogh.