Artist as Poet: The Purest Red

On July 21, 2016, Deputy Director for Curatorial and Academic Affairs Klaus Ottmann shares an overview of Karel Appel: A Gesture of Color. In anticipation, we’re sharing examples of Appel’s poetry paired with his artwork on the blog. 

Appel_Wounded Nude

Karel Appel, Wounded Nude, 1959. Oil on canvas, 72 x 95 5/8 in. Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

In my inner life exists a desire
for the purest red
my nervous system is red
my tissues are red
my entire being is red
the primal animal lies
on the beach
as a broken red sun
drenched with dark red blood

Karel Appel, “Ode to Red”







Appel_Floating Like the Wind

Karel Appel, Floating like the Wind, 1975. Oil on canvas 78 3/4 x 102 3/4 in. Private Collection © Karel Appel Foundation, c/o ARS New York, 2016

Never heard the sound of her voice
floating over the desert
full of space nostalgia and loneliness
where yellow camels stare into infinity

Karel Appel, “Fata Morgana”