Karel Appel, 85

“With several colleagues, including the Danish artist Asger Jorn and the Belgian artist known as Corneille, Mr. Appel founded Cobra in 1948 at an international conference in Paris. The movement’s original name was Reflex, but it came to be called Cobra, an acronym for Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam, the cities from which its founders came. The Cobra aesthetic — abstract, spontaneous, expressionistic, riotous with color — was a shot across the bow of de Stijl, which then dominated Dutch art with its rigid insistence on geometric form. It was also a reaction against the hegemony of French Surrealism.”