Karel appel Christiaan Karel Appel, known as Karel Appel (Amsterdam, April 25, 1921 - Zurich, May 3, 20061) was a Dutch painter, a founding member of the CoBrA group. The son of a hairdresser, Appel studied at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten (Academy of Fine Arts) in Amsterdam between 1940 and 1943 despite resistance from his parents. There he met Guillaume Corneille and Constant. His first exhibition dates from 1946 and was in Groningen, followed by another in Amsterdam. Among his influences are Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Jean Dubuffet. He joined the Nederlandse Experimentele Groep (Dutch Experimental Group) together with Guillaume Corneille and Constant with whom he later founded the CoBrA movement in 1948, together with Asger Jorn, Jan Nieuwenhuys and Christian Dotremont. In 1949 a mural of his in the cafeteria of the Amsterdam City Hall caused a strong controversy and was covered for ten years. Consequently Appel left in 1950 for Paris, developing his international reputation with trips to Mexico, the United States, Brazil and Yugoslavia, dividing his residence between New York and Florence. Appel is classified as an expressionist painter of the second half of the 20th century. His work, although close to abstraction, always contains recognizable themes (people, animals, landscapes). During his time at CoBrA he painted simple figures with strong outlines in bright colors.