Boundless and Free
In 2023, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the international Cobra movement (1948 – 1951) Cobra Museum will be putting on a major new exhibition of work by Appel, Constant, Corneille, and Jorn, together with Picasso, Beckmann, Basquiat, Munch and contemporary artists such as Jonathan Meese and Cecily Brown.
The exhibition shows the close relationship of Cobra with the free expressive working method of artists over the years. Some 150 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, photographs and ceramics emphasize the universal character of Cobra. The public is invited to compare the work of a large number of Cobra artists and to make connections with related artists who worked before, simultaneously or after. On Thursdays and Fridaynights the museum is open until 8pm. Please note: City card holders pay a €10 surcharge.
Wider Cobra context
The exhibition Boundless and Free is not intended to be a historical retrospective or a reflection on typical characteristics of Cobra art. It places the work of Cobra artists in a broader context. The Cobra artists wanted to share their ideas with others as much as possible and sought contacts with like-minded people in the furthest (European) corners. All art that stood for experimental, playful, provocative and could freely count on a response from the first founders of the movement.
By placing Cobra artworks next to those of other artists not linked to Cobra, new connections are created in style, expressiveness or meaning, without directly labeling them as Cobra or non-Cobra art. In a retrospective of about seventy-five years, this can now be made more visible. For example, it is clear that from the beginning there were major differences between individual Cobra artists, but it is also clear that everyone's artistic development has been completely different. In such a retrospective, a provisional balance can also be drawn up as to how the Cobra works of art relate to international developments. Sometimes an individual step, such as Constant's new Babylon project or the ideas of the Situationists (Asger Jorn, Guy Debrod and Jacqueline de Jong), still proves to be relevant today. But also within painting or sculpture, it can be seen that the work of individual Cobra artists is still convincing in its expressive power.
In order not to place all these comparisons endlessly next to each other, some groupings, or if you like, thematic groupings have been added. They range from 'Influences': artists who influenced Cobra), 'Masks', the influences of non-western art, 'Nature and myths', especially important for the Danish Cobra artists, 'Gesture', referring to the abstract- expressionist action-painting in America and European Tachism, 'the Child', influence of the spontaneous unaffected expression of the child and finally 'Expression', where a broad group of works from early expressionism, via Cobra, to a younger generation of artists are shown which are close to the Cobra expressions in style or mentality.
The starting point of this exhibition is to create such a mise en scene that comparisons can be made. By showing Appel next to Picasso, but also very close to a relief by Schwitters and Brands. Picasso was important for letting go of a logical relationship between color and form, and with Schwitters the image of the painting (relief) is 'broken open'. Both artists were very important examples in that sense. Or you can experience how the playfulness of Klee and the fairytale shapes of Mirò have been important for painters such as Brands, Wolvecamp and Rooskens. This set-up gives the viewer the freedom to follow those connections or to come to different visions in a museum as a place for reflection of what Cobra means or still has to say in a broader context.
Dates and times
|Tuesday 26 September||10:00 - 10:00|
|Tuesday 26 September||17:00 - 17:00|
|Wednesday 27 September||10:00 - 10:00|
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