The Artist :
Corneille was born in Liege Belgium in 1922, of Dutch parents.
His artistic career has been active mainly in Paris. Corneille, together
in Holland with Karl Appel, and George Constant formed a experimental
group, who's mission was to seek new forms of elemental expression. The
group was opposed to concrete art's principles of order and harmony. They
opposed the order of the art of Mondrian and De Stijl and the academy.
Through contacts with similar groups in Copenhagen and Brussels,
the Corneille, Appel and Constant group, in 1948, evolved into the international
expressionist group known as CoBrA (Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam).
The Danish painter Asger Jorn and the Belgian born Pierre Alechinsky were
other notable members. Corneille, with Piere Alechinsky, was one of the
more controlled artists in the group. The others leaned more toward a
violent/wild synthesis of form and color.
In the 1950's Corneille exhibited throughout Western Europe.
He came to the United States in 1958, after having won the 1956 First
Honorable Mention at the Carnegie Institute. Corneille is represented
in the collections of major museums in Europe, the United States, Asia,
Africa, Australia, and South America.
Corneille, like most of the artists associated with the
CoBrA group, employed some sort of subject/figuration which usually derived
from folk art, children's art, prehistoric, or primitive art. This expression,
combined with the CoBrA group's most important unifying principle - the
doctrine of complete freedom of abstract expressive forms, with an accent
on gesture, is the basis of Corneille's work.
Corneille's work is marked by brilliant colors and vigorous
brush strokes. Using largely undiluted primary colors with blacks, whites,
and greens, his art combines asymmetrically balanced color and shapes
sufficient to bring a degree of order out of apparent chaos, and at the
same time not diminish the explosive fury of abstract expressionist art.
See Alechinsky, CoBrA artist.
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