Corneille Guillaume van Beverloo, known as Corneille, is born in Liege (Belgium) in 1922. He studies drawing in Rijksakademie of Amsterdam (1940-1943). In the 40’s, Corneille is in search of a “new creativity”; in a very free way, he mainly paints birds and gardens. His first personal exhibition is organized in 1946 in Paris, where he settles definitively in 1950.
In 1948, Corneille is cofounder of Reflex and Cobra groups (with the painters Asger Jorn, Karel Appel, Constant and two Belgian poets, Christian Dotremont and Joseph Noiret). Together, they sign a short text, written by Jorn and Dotremont, which they entitle “the cause was heard”, ironic reference to proclamation of Surrealism, “the cause is heard”. There, they advance an experimental art, in reaction against any esthetism and any specialization, in order to express a controversy. Corneille’s style strikes by his forms which point out to children naive drawings, without however being unaware of a certain violence.
From 1950 and until 1958, he travels a lot (Africa, Americas, the Antilles) and creates abstract and coloured landscapes which are like the traces of his own peregrinations. In 1962, he has his first exhibition in New York. At the beginning of the Sixties, Corneille returns to a “New Figuration”. Then the artist paints, carries out an important graphic work, creates sculptures and ceramics objects, extremely coloured works whose forms are generally underlined by black rings. His art evokes a personal and imaginary world, a populated universe of flowers, birds and women. From 1980 to 1987, Corneille takes part in many retrospectives devoted to the Cobra movement in France and abroad.
Corneille passed in September 2010, he was 88 years old.
In 1950 the artist settled permanently in Paris and began exhibiting at the Salon de Mai. He studied etching with Stanley William Hayter in 1953 in Paris, and ceramics with Tullio Mazzotti in Albisola, Italy, during the summers of 1954 and 1955. Corneille received the Guggenheim International Award for The Netherlands in 1956, the year of his first one-man exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. In 1957 he participated in the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles in Paris. He traveled extensively during this period, visiting Africa, South America, The Netherlands Antilles and the United States.
In 1962 Corneille was given his first solo exhibition in New York at the Lefebre Gallery, and during the next four summers he worked on gouaches in the Spanish coastal town of Cadaques. A Corneille retrospective was held at the Musee d’Antibes, France, in 1963. In 1968 he executed mosaics in Vela-Luka, Yugoslavia. Among his many one-man shows during the 1970s were those presented at Milan’s Galleria d’ Arte and the Museu de Arte of São Paulo in 1975, at Galerie Espace in Amsterdam in 1977 and at the Galleria C.M. in Rome and the Galerie Kände Malåra, Jönköping, Sweden, in 1978. Since the late seventies, he has continued to represent tropical landscapes and gardens inhabited with animals and women through figurative paintings.