Corneille, Cornelis van Beverloo: 1922 -2010 (Belgium)

The Artist :

Corneille was born in Liege Belgium in 1922, of Dutch parents. He was a painter, printmaker, ceramicist and writer. Nevertheless, his artistic career was 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. The Artist initially trained in drawing at the Amsterdam Rijksakademie (1940 to 1943), but is considered a self-trained painter. Through contacts with similar experimental groups as mentioned above, 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.

Corneille's early work was naturalistic, but after being inspired by the joie de vivre of French painters, and in particular by the work of younger artists such as Edouard Pignon, he slowly moved into the Cubist style. The poetic Corneille was strongly influenced by Miro and Klee. After the group dissolved in 1951 he moved to Paris and began collecting African art. These primitive artifacts became evident in his works, which began to take on a more imaginative style, like landscapes seen from a bird's eye view, exotic birds and stylised forms. Throughout the 1950's Corneille exhibited in Western Europe. He came to the United States in 1958, after having won the 1956 First Honorable Mention at the Carnegie Institute. France.

Some major exhibitions have included Accrochage, Beverloo- C. Guillaume, Galerie Boisserée, J. & W. Boisserée, Har-El Printers & Publishers. Regarding major collections, Corneille’s work is represented in the collections of major museums in Europe, the United States, Asia, Africa, Australia, and South America: including collections in Chazen Museum, and Dordrechts Museumof Art, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco and Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. In Israel Corneille worked with with the Jaffa Atalier. September 2003 there was an opening of his exhibition of prints, in the Ramat-Gan Museum of Art, Israel. From 2000 - 2010 Corneille lived and worked in Paris.

The Art:

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.


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Cornelis Corneille. Figure from the 1975 Italian Suite. Lithograph. 42/100. The paper size is 20" x 28". The lithograph was acquired in 1977. The work is signed and numbered in pencil Color is vibrant crisp and clean. This work is a classic example of the artist's style, at the height of his career. The artwork, margins and art surface, is in excellent condition. Close-Up


See Alechinsky, CoBrA artist.

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