Karel Appel (1921 - 2006) found his artistic expression mainly in painting and sculpture. His work includes about 10,000 works in drawing, painting and sculpture. With his coarse brushstrokes and his bright colors, which were prevalent over long periods of his work, Appel was often criticized by the public, especially in his early years. In later years, his art was more popular and can be seen as sculptures or murals in public spaces. At the same time, Appel is seen as one of the most important post-war avant-gardists.
Appel studied at the Reich Academy of Fine Arts in Amsterdam between 1940 and 1944 and was a founding member of the artist group CoBrA. The group, which had a major influence on Appel's work, turned particularly to Expressionism and Informel and saw itself as an anti-aesthetic movement against academic and bourgeois expectations. Appel's work, in addition to CoBrA, was influenced by the art of Picasso, Matisse, and Dubuffet, Surrealism, and Art Brut.
Appel often combined his painting with other arts and worked on theater productions, stage designs, dance project, music and sound art.