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Guillaume Corneille. 1922, born in Liege, Belgium.

Corneille - 3 July 1922  –  5 September 2010. Belgian-born Dutch master painter, printmaker, ceramists and writer. Corneille, was born in Liege, Belgium, in 1922 of Dutch parents. He studied art at the Academy of Art in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands (1940 to 1943 ). As a co-founder of COBRA (the famed experimental artists group) in 1948, he became a leading abstract expressionist painter and printmaker along with such notables as Appel, Alechinksy, Jorn and Dubbuffet. In the mid 1950s he traveled and exhibited throughout Western Europe. He first came to the United States in 1958 having two years earlier won First Honorable Mention at the Carnegie Institute. Here he was heralded for his spirited and imaginative works. Unlike others, Corneille packed form and content in an otherwise restricted genre. Corneille was strongly influenced by Miró and Klee. 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 stylized forms. He was soon presented with many prizes and awards and his works were collected by museums in South America, Africa and Australia. Beyond the Netherlands, Corneille’s work is in the collections of several American museums, including the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. COBRA (or CoBrA) was a European avant-garde movement. The name was coined in 1948 by Christian Dotremont from the initials of the founding members' home cities: Copenhagen (Co), Brussels (Br), Amsterdam (A). The COBRA group believed in spontaneity and drew inspiration from children's or "primitive" art. “I am a painter of joy,” Corneille remarked at a 2007 exhibition of his work at the Cobra Museum, in Amstelveen, near Amsterdam.

 

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