Cobra Global is the global brand of the Cobra Museum of Modern Art in the Netherlands. Our exhibitions are curated and compiled by the museum, as they make their way around the world.
“There is no doubt that the Cobra Group was the most expressive and alive force of European painting.” Emanoel Araujo, Director of Pinacoteca do Estado, São Paulo, Brazil. Exhibit: Grupo Cobra (2000)
CoBrA, 1000 Days of Free Art is a comprehensive exhibition that travels the world to present a key selection of highlights from this vital art movement. The premiere of the exhibition took place at the Sakip Sabanci Museum in Istanbul from June 29 to September 16, 2012. It brought, for the first time in history works from the Cobra movement to Turkey. Dr. Nazan Ölçer, the director of the Sabanci Museum, stated: “Art from the 20th century, that truly was a fresh wind for our museum and the Turkish public. A few names people knew, but in Turkey, Cobra as an art movement was unknown. Karel Appel was one of the key artists of 20th century art, and it was very special to see his work in Istanbul.” It is our ambition to bring this experience to your museum.
Painting was not the only art discipline in Cobra. The brush and the pen were closely aligned. The painters wrote poetry and the poets made visual art. They were interested in all sorts of disciplines that allowed them to experiment with materials, such as ceramics. In addition, the members of the group released 10 issues of a magazine titled Cobra, which contained illustrations, reproductions of artworks, poems, manifests and short essays on art and culture. The exhibition consists of paintings, sculptures, ceramics, works on paper, textiles, films, jazz music, magazines and documentation material from the period 1947 till the early sixties of the last century.
The story of Cobra is told through a chronological timeline, where the visitor is introduced to the movement and the social and historical developments in the period 1930-1960 in Europe. Historical images in black and white documentaries show the post World War II environment in which the Cobra movement was founded. There are spoken word portraits by Cobra artists, who reflect on the significance of the movement. The exhibition shows a selection of masterpieces showing the fantasy animals, mythical creatures, vital compositions and the non- western influences in the art.
The visitors in Istanbul reportedly left the exhibition revitalized by the spontaneous and childlike energy that resonates from the Cobra art, and we look forward to sharing this experience with audiences at your museum.
Since we are the only Cobra Museum in the world, it is our main task to maintain the Cobra mindset, and to adjust it to the zeitgeist in order to implement it in new generations. We strive to do so out of our conviction that the Cobra movement was -and is- highly valuable within the realms of modern art. Since Cobra was the last European avant garde movement, it has become an anchor point in recent art history.
The fundament of the Cobra mindset, the rigorous break from all historic conventions, has created a context that is very relevant to this day. The specific properties of Cobra art offer many possible extensions to contemporary art practices. In our opinion, these properties are very likely to be timeless. History teaches us that artists are always found to be at the forefront in times of big change. Developing a program involving Omani artists would be a great option to contribute to the Omani art scene.
In Dutch schools, the basic targets for learning about art and cultural heritage teaching children to use images, language, music, play and movement to express their feelings and to communicate. Also, students learn to reflect on work of their own and that of others. They gather knowledge and learn to appreciate cultural heritage.
Art education offers the possibility of discovering new points of view, breaking down barriers and exchanging knowledge and experience. Students learn to integrate this new knowledge in the broader context of the knowledge, skills and attitudes they already incorporated.
There are several programs that can accompany the exhibition:
Workshops on painting, sculpting, (visual) poetry (children, young adults, adults)
Tours for children, young adults and/or adults
Packages for visiting families (for instance a treasure hunt style tour for children)
Packages for schools (educational booklets with assignments)
Forums, lectures or special programs for professionals, universities and art academies
Special thanks to:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands
Embassies and Consulates of the Netherlands worldwide