Karel Appel, ‘People, Birds and Sun’ 1954
Karel Appel
People, Birds and Sun 1954
Tate
© Karel Appel Foundation / DACS 2021

The term was used by the French critic Michel Tapié in his 1952 book Un Art Autre (Art of Another Kind). Tapié defined a tendency in postwar European painting that he saw as a radical break with all traditional notions of order and composition. In describing such work he used the term art informel (from the French ‘informe’, meaning unformed or formless).