A gift to the University from Gordon Fyfe 2016
‘Looking Around’ is a good example of Appel’s approach to creativity; like his fellow members of the CoBrA group he wished to demystify the process of making art, to make paintings and drawings unhampered by aesthetic rules or fine art conventions, and was prepared to learn lessons from children.
Although he once self-deprecatingly said about his art ‘I just mess around’ and spontaneity was a watchword, it is known that he often thought carefully about his compositions, making painstaking preliminary sketches before committing himself to the final act of creation.
The title of this screenprint refers to a mundane aspect of daily life, hardly worthy as a subject for a work of art, but Appel turns it into a colourful and lively impression of two sentient beings – human or non-human, take your pick – friskily engaged in some activity (possibly more larking around than looking around). Appel invites us to share the exuberance and pleasure that he was feeling as he created the image.