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Christiaan Karel Appel was a Dutch painter, sculptor, and poet. He started painting at the age of fourteen and studied at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam in the 1940s. He was one of the founders of the avant-garde movement CoBra in 1948, of which he became the most famous artist.. He was also an avid sculptor and has had works featured in MoMA and other museums worldwide.
He was influenced by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and the French brute-art artist Jean Dubuffet. In 1947 he started sculpting with all kinds of used materials (in the technique of assemblage) and painted them in bright colors: white, red, yellow, blue, and black. Before CoBra, he joined the Experimentele Groep in Holland [nl] together with the young Dutch painters Anton Rooskens, Theo Wolvecamp, and Jan Nieuwenhuys, and later the Belgian writer Hugo Claus.