Little Angry Blue Cat, is a quintessential example of Karel Appel, the leading painter of the influential painting movement known as CoBra. The artists hailed from Copenhagen, Brussels and in Appel's case, Amsterdam. They derived their inspiration from unconventiontal sources, such as the art of children and the art of the insane (which Jean Dubuffet called "l'art brut", literally raw art).
The innocuous subject matter of Little Angry Blue Cat is violated by Appel, who renders the cat in his trademark slashes of bold, garishly colored paint. More ferocious beast than a housecat, the animal nonetheless retains a certain whimsy that has always been part of Appel's appeal. Throughout his career, and particularly in his early, most sought-after work, his oeuvre is dominated by figures and animals, particularly cats and birds. The present painting dates from 1955, when the artist travelled to the United States and showed at the important Martha Jackson Gallery in New York.
Appel's personality was a brash as his painting, and in 1947, he stated, "All of a sudden, last night, I found it! From now on my work will be powerful, primitive, more forceful than Negro art and Picasso" (p. 507). Formerly in the collection of the actor Tony Curtis, Little Angry Blue Cat is a confident and dynamic painting.