Karel Appel
Questioning Children 1949

Artwork details

Karel Appel 1921–2006
Questioning Children
Vragende kinderen
Date 1949
Medium Gouache on wood
Dimensions Object: 873 x 598 x 158 mm
frame: 1084 x 818 x 220 mm
Acquisition Presented by the artist 1986
Not on display

Display caption

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. CoBrA artists 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.

August 2004

About this artwork