Nu Laineux

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  • Condition Report

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Espace, Haarlem
    Galerie Stadler, Paris
    Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers, Copenhagen, 4 October 2005, lot 48
    Private Collection
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    ‘…For me, the material is the paint itself. The paint expresses itself. In the mass of the paint, I find my imagination and go on to paint it.’ - Karel Appel

    In Nu Laineux, executed in 1956, Karel Appel’s swathes of coloured impasto engulf the central form. Stripping the figure of distinguishable features, the nude’s countenance radiates from the work through Appel’s adept handling of colour and form. Using heavily applied strokes of richly coloured oil, Appel’s ‘expressive vehemence’ is ingrained into the fabric of the present work’s composition (Michel Tapie, ‘Une véhémence expressive’, in, Claude Fournet, ed., 40 ans de peinture, sculpture et dessin, Paris, 1987, p. 107). Imbuing the work with fervent energy, Appel experimented with applying oil straight from the tube, entwining the immediacy of his gesture directly with the canvas. Combining a palette of yellow, red and blue, thick black striations define the outline of the central figure, twisting and contorting with the artist’s enigmatic application.

    A co-founder of the progressive CoBrA movement in 1948, Appel settled in Paris in 1950 where he began to travel worldwide. Two years prior to the execution of the present work, Appel’s work was celebrated at his first solo exhibition in the USA at Martha Jackson Gallery and the artist received the UNESCO prize at the Venice Biennale. By 1956, the same year as the present work was painted, Appel created a mural for the entrance of the Stedelijk Amsterdam. A key figure of the 20th century European avant-garde, the present work is a vibrant example of the artist’s mastery of oil, conjuring an energetic and anarchic composition on canvas.


Nu Laineux

signed and dated 'ck. appel '56' lower left
oil on canvas
130 x 97.1 cm (51 1/8 x 38 1/4 in.)
Painted in 1956, the work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by the Karel Appel Foundation.

£200,000 - 300,000 

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20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 28 June 2019