Karel Appel

Amorous Dance

1955

Original title
Danse amoureuse
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 1140 x 1460 mm
frame: 1269 x 1585 x 98 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Lord Croft 1958
Reference
T00212

Display caption

Describing his technique, Appel said: ‘I slap at the paint with brushes and palette knives and my bare hands.’ The outlines of two dancing figures can barely be deciphered amidst the explosion of line and colour. Following the end of CoBrA, Appel’s method of working became increasingly aggressive and exuberant as he relished the material quality of the paint. Here, the encrusted surface has a life force of its own which seems to mirror the dynamic exchange between the dancers.

Gallery label, July 2005

Catalogue entry

Karel Appel born 1921

T00212 Danse amoureuse (Amorous Dance) 1955

Inscribed 'CK. Appel '55' b.c.
Oil on canvas, 44 7/8 x 57 1/2 (114 x 146)
Presented by Lord Croft 1958
Prov: With Arthur Tooth and Sons, London (purchased from the artist); Lord Croft, London
Exh: Paintings by Karel Appel, ICA, London, April-May 1957 (15); Recent Developments in Painting, Arthur Tooth and Sons, London, October-November 1957 (17); Exhibition to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Artists International Association, RBA, London, March-April 1958 (93); Karel Appel, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, June-August 1965 (69)
Repr: John Rothenstein, The Tate Gallery (London 1966), p.262

The artist, on being shown a photograph in 1959, confirmed that this picture depicts a pair of dancing figures.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.17, reproduced p.17