Amsterdam Art Week 17–27 Juni 21 Amsterdam Art Week 17–27 Juni 21 Amsterdam Art Week 17–27 Juni 21

Karel Appel, the Netherlands’ best-known postwar painter, was born 100 years ago. To mark the occasion, this exhibition opened during the weekend of his birthday, April 25, and will remain on view until 27 June 2021. It shows a selection of five paintings from Appel’s Horizon of Tuscany series, produced in 1995 when he was 74. He painted a number of landscapes showing the hills and cypresses around his house.

The exhibition is curated by Rudi Fuchs, former director of the Stedelijk Museum and a close friend of Appel, and organized in collaboration with the Karel Appel Foundation. It will be accompanied by a catalogue, designed by Rutger Fuchs.

The 115- by 300-centimetre paintings are examples of Appel’s late style. He was known for his baroque expressionist painted figures and nudes, but in the 1990s he concentrated on landscapes, a genre he had not explored so deeply before. The trees and hills are absorbed in an all-over pattern of rhythmic brushstrokes, forming a colorful, pulsating tapestry. Some landscapes on paper from the same period will be on display as well. 

Appel’s late works have been the subject of increasing international interest, with exhibitions at Blum and Poe in Los Angeles, Max Hetzler in Berlin, Jahn und Jahn in Munich, and Almine Rech in Paris. Slewe Gallery previously showed his last work in 2011 in the exhibition Couplet 7, curated by Rudi Fuchs, and in 2016 with a group of abstract paintings from 1978-1980, entitled Reset. 

The exhibition at Slewe Gallery is one of a number of events being held to mark what would have been Appel’s 100th birthday. These started in Berlin with an exhibition of his sculptures and a publication by Max Hetzler Gallery. This summer, Jahn und Jahn will publish a catalogue entitled Karel Appel, Collages from 1957-1968, and in September EenWerk in Amsterdam will show two of his object paintings from the eighties.


Karel Appel (NL, 1921–2006)