Saut dans l'Espace
Date 1953
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 142 x 110 x 2.6 cm
Inventory ID UID 102-017
Karel Appel’s painting is a mix of Nordic folk art, primitive art, children’s drawings, expressionism and surrealist automatism. Around 1947 he began a series of Vragende Kinderen [Questioning Children] and Vergeten Kinderen [Forgotten Children] based on ‘portraits’ of children depicted frontally, as in children’s paintings. These child figures, derisory actors in a powerless revolt, aim to make spontaneity emerge and to mask any type of intellectual approach. He explained his violent technique thus: ‘My reality is an overpopulated, possessed and frenetic world, a barbarian age in which I can only paint as a barbarian’. His bright colours were spread in thick layers. He added: ‘I do it a bit everywhere. I apply a good layer, spread the paint with spatulas or with my own hands, sometimes whole tins in one go’. AC
James Goodman Gallery, New York (1985); Étude Loudmer auction, Paris, 28 October 1990; private collection, Paris, 1991; purchased at Christie’s, London, 30 November 1995.