Tag Archives: Karel Appel

THE GUGGENHEIM IN HOLLAND – Cobra Museum

Karel Appel's playful sculpture outside the Cobra Museum, Amstelveen.

Karel Appel’s playful sculpture outside the Cobra Museum in Amstelveen.



I feel well disposed towards artists who admit they really don’t understand what they’re doing.

“I just mess around a bit,” said Dutch artist Karel Appel; and it became the most famous thing he ever said in his life.

Appel’s work and that of his 1950s contemporaries from COpenhagen, BRussels and Amsterdam is celebrated in the COBRA Museum in Amstelveen, just outside Amsterdam. The museum’s permanent collection is one of the Netherlands’ greatest treasures.

This year, Appel and his fellow Cobras have been joined in Amstelveen by work from New York’s Guggenheim. Pollack, Rothko, de Koning, Poliakoff and others splashed, dribbled and daubed colour onto canvas, apparently at random, yet by some magical process the effect is wonderful. We thought the exhibition was fabulous, and highly recommend it to anyone who’ll be in Amsterdam over the next few months. Continue reading

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STEDELIJK MUSEUM – fiddler in the bathtub

One of Marc's Chagall's finest. Image: Wikimedia Commons.

One of Marc’s Chagall’s finest. Image: Wikimedia Commons.

Marc Chagall’s famous Fiddler on the Roof has been scratching away somewhere else for nearly a decade, while the Stedelijk Museum was closed for refurbishment. Now he’s back home in Amsterdam.

Until today I hadn’t realised what a superb collection of contemporary art Amsterdam has had tucked away.

Now they’ve pulled it out to be proudly displayed alongside the Rembrandts and Van Goghs the tourists come to see. Continue reading

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