Corneille – Guillaume Cornelis van Beverloo (1922 – 2010)
Corneille, also known as Corneille Guillaume Beverloo, was a painter and graphic artist who radicalized the conservative Dutch art world in the early 1950s. He founded CoBrA in 1949, a post-war Expressionist European movement, along with five other influential artists that included Karel Appel and Constant. Born to Dutch parents in Liege, Belgium on July 3, 1922, Corneille went on to study art at the Academy of Art in Amsterdam in 1940, but is generally considered a self-trained painter. His approach is often described as imaginative and poetic, and is characterized by an eccentric use of color and his placing of familiar subjects, such as cats, birds, and women, in mythological or juvenile settings. “I am a painter of joy,” the artist declared at his 2007 exhibit at the Cobra Museum. He was notably influenced by African art, which he collected during his time traveling throughout the continent during the 1950s. His work was also affected by Pablo Picasso and Paul Klee and, most notably, Vincent Van Gogh's use of color and form. His works are featured in collections at the Cobra Museum of Modern Art in the Netherlands, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He died on September 5, 2010 in Paris, France.