Karel Appel, A Gesture of Colour
Introduction by Herman Parret
Afterword by Christine Buci-Glucksmann
The first volume in the new series Jean-François Lyotard: Writings on Contemporary Art and Artists is dedicated to the Dutch Abstract Expressionist painter, sculptor, and poet Karel Appel (1921–2006). Originally published in German, the book's original French text, written in 1992 as the result of a correspondence with Karel Appel, is here published for the first time. In his text about Appel, Lyotard reflects on the nature and function of color as it is used by the artist. Karel Appel, A Gesture of Colour brings together, in a special color section, twenty-five color reproductions of paintings discussed by Lyotard. The layout of this remarkable art historical survey of Appel's work emphasizes the bilingual texts.
Lyotard presents Karel Appel's "matterism" as an offer of presence, presence deferred—it is the visual where every predicate is suspended, the visual touched, a "gesture" of color more than a property of color, an appearance at the edge of the abyss. Christine Buci-Glucksmann's epilogue situates Karel Appel, a Gesture of Colour within the whole of Lyotard's writings on art and his subsequent work.