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Questioning Children

Karel Appel

Questioning Children

Karel Appel
  • Original Title: Vragende kinderen
  • Date: 1949
  • Style: Art Informel
  • Genre: figurative
  • Media: gouache, wood

Appel prepared the surface of Questioning Children by nailing discarded pieces of wood to an old window shutter. The vibrant colours and roughly-painted figures recall the spontaneity of children’s art. CoBrAartists believed that such unconventional sources could re-invigorate post-war culture. In the same year Appel also used the title Questioning Children for a controversial mural at the Town Hall in Amsterdam, which was condemned as incomprehensible, and covered over with wallpaper. There is a note of tragedy in these works as the Dutch title also means 'begging children' and evokes scenes of poverty that Appel had witnessed in post-war Germany.

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