Born in Amsterdam in 1921, Karel Appel visited Paris in 1947. After seeing an exhibition by Jean Dubuffet, the champion of Art Brut, the French artist became a key reference for Appel, and in 1948, accompanied by Christian Dotremont, Asger Jorn, Constant, Corneille and Noiret, Appel founded the group CoBrA (in reference to Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam). His intense creativity continued well after the break-up of the group in 1951. In 1954, he was awarded the UNESCO prize at the Venice Biennale, and in 1957 he moved to the United States where he was visited by a number of major dealers, museum directors and his new friends (including Sam Francis, Jackson Pollock, Willem De Kooning and Franz Kline) who were all impressed by the emotional charge of his paintings. Appel’s works sell well in the United States, but he owes his first result above the million-dollar threshold to Paris, for a painting dated the year of CoBrA’s dissolution, 1951 (Two Birds and a Flower, $1.09 million, Christie’s Paris, 3 December 2012). Representative of a vehemently anti-elitist avant-garde, Appel’s œuvre is affordable thanks to a large volume of lithographs in circulation.


Against the backdrop of a revival in his market, Pierre Alechinsky was awarded the leading global prize for painting this year. Close to the Surrealists, Pierre ALECHINSKY (1927) was an active member of CoBrA in the late 1940’s and his work grew out of a wide range of influences including music and Japanese calligraphy. During […]

MoMA puts a Dubuffet and a Mathieu up for sale In November, MoMA asked the Parisian Applicat-Prazan Gallery to sell two post-war works from its collections: Topographie châtaine (1959) by Jean DUBUFFET and Théorème d’Alexandroff (1955) by Georges MATHIEU. In March 2017, these works will go on sale at major international fairs (Tefaf Maastricht and Art […]

Dutch artist Karel APPEL was a cofounder of the group known as Cobra (1948-1951), named after its member artists’ home cities of Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam. As well as participating in Cobra, Appel continued to produce spontaneous and exuberant art until the end of the 1970s. His instinctive approach to painting is typically expressed as an explosion of colour and a child-like graphical sensibility. Appel juggles materials, plasters on layers of paint, and pulls together found objects that are integrated into his works. Rather than seeking to seduce the viewer he wants to give represent the wildness of his times.

On 14 April, Christie’s Paris will sell 46 post-WWII works belonging to two European collectors.The sale is expected to generate close to EUR 1.5 million in turnover. Most of the artistic movements featured are French: New Realism, Figuration Libre, Figuration Narrative and a large selection of French post-war abstract art.

The price of paintings by artists belonging to the Cobra movement has risen by 50% in the last six months in what clearly amounts to a significant revaluation of their work.