7 December 2007 - 10 February 2008
Karel Appel
Nude No.14, 1985

Karel Appel (Amsterdam, 1921- Zurich, 2006) is seen predominantly as a smasher of the school of academic tradition and nature imitation in painting.


His Abstract Expressionist style was greeted, in his home country, Holland, with indignation and rejection. Appel was a member of the CoBrA group of artists, founded in a café in Paris in 1948.  This ground-breaking artists’ community, which lasted barely two years and whose name was composed of the initial letters of the cities of Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam, from which the foundation members originated, raised the anti-academic stylistic principle, which placed feeling above seeing, as its yardstick by which all art was to be measured.


The exhibition features, for the first time ever, 14 large-scale nude drawings. They display broadly stretched-out nude drawings, which the artist has interpreted as being part of a panoramic landscape setting. In the “Nude Series” here presented, Karel Appel appropriates the human body in an almost academic manner: isolated, without any background and without any justifying motif for their nudity, these bodies present themselves as the “ultimate reality of human nature.”