Untitled 1966 Karel Appel

BKOR archive
About the artwork

This series of glaze paintings were applied in 1966 to white building tiles on the façade of the high-rise building of Erasmus University Rotterdam. Nowadays this building is called the Tinbergen Building. The fifteen abstract animal and human figures are painted in primary colors in the typical Karel Appel style. The work is signed with Apple '66 in the lower right corner. At the opening of Woudestein, the Rotterdam Meneba (NV Meelfabrieken der Nederlandse Bakkerij) donated this tile tableau on the occasion of Meneba's 50 anniversary. Karel Appel made many monumental works such as wall paintings, tile pictures and glass artworks during the reconstruction period. Appel's design contrasts well with the gray concrete of the faculty building. It is thanks to art collector and emeritus professor of the legal faculty Piet Sanders (1912-2012) that monumental images appeared on campus in and around Erasmus University. For example, his friendship with Karel Appel made it possible to realize the tile picture on the facade of the university. Click here for an overview of artworks on Woudestein campus.

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About the artist

Karel Appel (Amsterdam, 1921 - Zurich, 2006) attended painting classes from 1942 to 1944 at the Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. The first post-war work of Karel Appel was experimental, but still inspired by modern classics. A visit to Paris in 1947 brought a change; Appel was influenced by Jean Dubuffet, primitive art and surrealism. He believed that art would free the human mind. As co-founder of CoBrA, he developed an expressive form of painting and became one of the best-known Dutch painters, with an important place in art history. Afterwards he made painted wooden reliefs and freestanding sculptures, ceramics and carried out monumental commissions.

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