Activiteiten Archive - Cobra Museum voor Moderne Kunst

Feel freedom without borders  | Yoga-class inbetween artworks

Date: Sunday, October 8
Time: 1st session 9.00 – 10.00 h | 2nd session 10.30 – 11.30 h
Entrance: Participation free of charge (there is limited space)  Reserve your spot through AmstelveenSport

On Sunday morning, October 8 – on the last exhibition day of Freedom without Borders and The Other Picasso – the Cobra Museum in collaboration with Amstelveen sport organizes two yoga sessions in the. midst of the exhibitions.

The first session will take place at 09.00 – 10.00 in the exhibition Boundless and Free. Here, yoga school Melt Mind & Life will provide a basic hatha class among the paintings of Karel Appel, Pablo Picasso, Max Beckmann and many others.

The second session is a Yin Yoga class at 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. in the Voordrachtszaal, between the exhibitions Flora Fantastica and My Cobra Adventure.

Practical information
Bring your own yoga mat to class. Don’t have one? Let us know by sending an e-mail to the e-mail address below and we will bring one for you.

Put on comfortable clothing. In the exhibition room it can be a little chilly, so make sure to bring an extra layer.

For more information, please email or call 088-8585104

Machismo: ways of seeing Picasso

Saturday 23 September


Date: Saturday 23 September
Time: 3 pm – 5 pm
Language: English
Entrance: Free + 1 free drink token. Reserve your spot by sending an email to:

Machismo: ways of seeing Picasso
A conversation about the man, the myth and ‘his’ models.   

The year 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of one of the most famous artists of the 20th century: Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). This summer the exhibition The Other Picasso. Back to the Origin is on show at the Cobra Museum. Next to numerous exhibitions in museums and cultural institutions worldwide celebrating the artist and his work, more and more critical views on the artists personal life and the stereotypical way Picasso portrays women in his work also appear. The artist himself admitted treating them as ‘goddesses or doormats’.

In this context the Cobra Museum organizes Machismo: ways of seeing Picasso. A conversation about the man, the myth and ‘his’ models. During the conversation we’ll talk about Picasso’s image as the archetypical machismo artist and how that is reflected in his work. We’ll also shed light on the women he depicted in his work. Who were they actually and what was the artist-model relationship? And, can we today still view and appreciate his work in the same way as we used to? Can we see his work separately from his personal life and actions that in many cases had disastrous consequences for the women in his life? And is there also something positive to say about machismo behaviour? From various perspectives we’ll cover different ways of seeing Picasso’s work and life.

Picasso Palme, Pablo Picasso In France, Vallauris, September 1952 (Photo by Robert DOISNEAU) © Succession Picasso c/o Pictoright Amsterdam 2023

The conversation is moderated by Linda Duits. Naja Rasmussen joins and another two experts.

Linda Duits

Linda Duits is a Dutch social scientist specialised in popular culture. She is interested in the interplay between media, meaning and identity.

Naja Rasmussen, Hoofdconservator Kunstmuseum Brandts

Naja Rasmussen researched Picasso’s machismo and how he related to (his) women and ‘muses’. Rasmussen is chief curator at Kunstmuseum Brandts in Odense, Denmark.

Laren, 06-10-22, Maaike Rikhof in het Singer museum, Curator

Maaike Rikhof is Curator of Modern Art at the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem. She specializes in art from around 1900, especially viewed from a social (gender- and queer-related) perspective. As guest curator, she curated the exhibition The New Woman at Singer Laren.

Jens van Tricht, founder and director-director of Emancipator

Jens van Tricht studied Political Science and Women’s Studies at the University of Amsterdam and specialized in the changing role of men and masculinity in society. Van Tricht is founder and director-director of Emancipator, the Dutch organization for men and emancipation.

Leenderts Vooijce

Performance by Leendert Vooijce
Leendert Vooijce is a performance artist and part of theater collective Female Economy. Leendert positions himself next to you, opposite you or with you in the limitations of language, concepts and understanding. To playfully tilt reality in order to create space for the alternative. Space for Space.


Cobra Pakt Uit!Together we celebrate 75!

Date: Saturday 26th of AugustTime: 10.00 – 12.00hrs.Admission: The activities in the Voordrachtzaal are free for everyone born in 1948 and (grand)children/neighbour or friend coming with you.

Please sign up by sending an email to

This year it’s already 75 years ago that the international Cobra group was founded. The Cobra Museum celebrates this anniversary with the exhibition Freedom without Borders.

 Are you also celebrating your 75th birthday this year? Then we would like to invite you on Saturday morning, August 26, for a festive and fun morning in the museum. We will welcome you with music, a cake and coffee or tea in our Voordrachtzaal.

 Have your picture taken with our photobooth and create your own button to take home together with our volunteers. Of course, celebrating together with others is even more fun, so be sure to bring your (grand)child, neighbour or friend to the museum!

Good to know

  • Admission to the exhibitions are free of charge on this day for visitors born in 1948 (upon presentation of ID card). Others who come along pay the regular admission price.
  • At noon and 1 p.m., there will be a guided tour (NL) of the exhibition Freedom without Borders.
  • For the cake; while supplies last.


Cobra Pakt Uit! | Live at Cobra

Date: Saturday 29 July
Time: 14.30-16.30
Entrance: Free

14:30 Avinash
15.15 Rae
16:00 Zach

On Saturday 29 July – during the Cobra Pakt Uit! weekend – you can enjoy live music at the museum café. The programme features several singer-songwriters, each with their own musical sound. These musicians push the boundaries of traditional musical styles and blend them into a sound all their own.

Avinash Pandey
Avinash is an Indian-born singer-songwriter, based in Amsterdam. Drawing inspiration from RnB, pop, and soul, his music is a unique fusion of genres that creates a sound that is both fresh and timeless. His songs convey emotions and stories of love, life, and the human condition, resonating with listeners on an intimate level.

Rae Charmaine
Rae is a Zimbabwean-born singer-songwriter based in Amsterdam. She uses her singing and music to express feelings that most people feel but cannot convey. She combines her melodies and lyrics into a musical journey. The music that she plays is a mix of jazz, blues, reggae, soul, R’n’B with African influences.

Zach Steiner
Zach Steiner is an American singer-songwriter, his songs are biting and vivid interpretations of his emotions and experiences. Sometimes vicious and furious, sometimes painfully honest and vulnerable, his sound is Roots Americana at its core. He likes to call his sound Gutterfolk, a blend of Country, Folk, Blues and Bluegrass with a pinch of Gypsy Swing.




Exclusive lecture by philosopher Brian Benjamin Hansen

This lecture is in English

Time: 15:00 – 15:45, followed by questions from the audience.
Price: free (excluding museum admission)
Booking: reserve your ticket for the lecture on Sunday 30 April here. You need a museum ticket for attending the lecture, this you can buy on the spot at the register or online by selecting a time slot. 

On Sunday 30 April, the Cobra Museum is organising a special lecture by Brain Benjamin Hansen. Hansen is a philosopher and author of the book Ovartaci: The Signature of Madness and in this lecture will zoom in on the theme to which the title of this exhibition Becoming Ovartaci refers: the process of becoming Ovartaci 

Becoming Ovartaci 

Ovartaci changed himself throughout his life, from a shy boy from rural Denmark, named Louis Marcussen, to the great artist Ovartaci, the creator of spectacular visions from a life in other eras and places. He morphed from a shy boy into a shaman, who stood in contact with spirits, animal spirits, and the spirits of long-lost family, which he magically brought to life with improvised materials.  

Brian Benjamin Hansen argues that to understand Ovartaci’s work it is not only necessary to describe  the life with all its biographical details, but also this artist’s persistent self-experimental productivity:  

“Ovartaci cannot accept to have been born as Louis Marcussen, and he cannot accept the body he was put into. To become Ovartaci is to fight Louis, and it is also to fight great forces in himself, not least the force of sexuality. In my lecture, I will outline the way Ovartaci fights himself and the way he manages to restructure through new religious and aesthetic texture. Ovartaci’s art is not, I argue, raw “art brut”, but on the contrary a very refined attempt to rebuild a world out of joint.” 

The Signature of Madness

In his book, Ovartaci: The Signature of Madness, Hansen has outlined two aesthetic strategies at play in Ovartaci’s work, namely the strategies of “cutting” and “adding”. The strategy of cutting has to do with a sometimes very violent fight against the harmful forces attacking Ovartaci; this fight is also fought on the turf of his own body. Ovartaci wants to eliminate, or cut out, the evil forces in himself. The strategy of cutting is a destructive strategy, which says something about the high stakes of the art of Ovartaci. Even if it makes a colorful, if somewhat spooky and ambiguous first impression, it is not without trauma. 

The strategy of adding has to do with how something that is not functioning is replaced by something new. For example, the male body is replaced by a female body. But this strategy of adding works not only at the affective level of bodily feeling and intensity, but also at the level of social inscription. Hence the name “Ovartaci”,which replaces the name Louis Marcussen, itself carries enormous weight. It can be used as an escape to another life or as a magical tool, but it also has its own mythology and genealogy, with its many strange bodies, figures, animals and landscapes and with its background anecdotes about life in other reincarnations, often told by Ovartaci. Delusion is not madness, as Freud already knew, but “in reality an attempt at recovery, a process of reconstruction.” 

The book will be available at the Cobra Museum’s museum shop.  

Brian Benjamin Hansen

Brian Benjamin Hansen is a philosopher. He is a postdoctoral researcher at Aarhus University and senior associate professor at VIA University College. Latest publications are Ovartaci: The Signature of Madness (Aarhus University Press, 2022) and Analysing the Cultural Unconscious (editor) (Bloomsbury, 2020).  


* Questions about ticket sales? From Monday to Friday, call 020 547 50 37 between 9am and 5pm. 


Saturday, March 25, 3 p.m.
Admission free (regular admission prices apply when visiting the rest of the museum).

What does the word “home” really mean? People of 139 different nationalities live in Amstelveen. Where do their thoughts go when they think of ‘home’? Artist Stephanie Rhode set out to photograph people of each of Amstelveen’s 139 nationalities. For her HOME Art project she makes 139 photographs of people, captured as they think of ‘home’. 139 people with their own story. A first part of these photos can be seen from March 10 in the Cobra Museum’s Voordrachtzaal. On Saturday afternoon, March 25, Stephanie Rhode will tell about her project, about her search for people of all nationalities in Amstelveen, and photographed participants will speak.

Foto: Stephanie Rhode

Her HOME Art Project has brought Stephanie Rhode, herself from Amstelveen, into contact with many different people. Behind every encounter is a story, which she tries to capture with her photography. During the lecture Stephanie will tell more about her working method, but she will also let the photographers themselves speak. What did it mean to them to come into contact with Stephanie and to be part of an art project? And what exactly is “home” to them?

Foto: Stephanie Rhode

Visual artist Stephanie Rhode has a great curiosity about how people outside her environment – from other backgrounds, cultures or countries – view social issues or life questions. Through exchange with different people, she constantly creates new art projects, which take shape in installations, video, performances, photography and drawings. These bring out both the similarities and diversity of people.

Zaterdag 25 maart

Date: Saturday 25 February 2023
14.30 – 17.30 hours
Price: free (excluding museum entrance).
Booking: order your tickets here (select your museum entrance/time slot and choose Artist Talk 2.30 p.m.)
Language of the talk: English

14.30 – 15.30 Walk-in & opportunity to view the exhibition independently
15:30 – 16:30 Panel talk with guests
16.30 – 17.30 followed by drinks in the café and the opportunity to talk afterwards

What is the impact of image satire and cartoons on society in 2023? On Saturday 25 February, cartoonists Sanaz Bagheri, Tjeerd Royaards and Jip van den Toorn, led by journalist and writer Peter Wierenga, will discuss the current state of visual satire. How do they see their role as cartoonists? What is it like to do satire in Iran or during the Nazi regime compared to an open society like ours, where do you aim your arrows? What makes a cartoon or drawing such an appropriate form for social criticism? What are the reactions to their work and how do they deal with it? What question would you ask them on this topic?

Helhesten: art journal as an act of resistance

This artist talk is organised in the context of the exhibition We Kiss the Earth, on show at the Cobra Museum until 14 May. This exhibition focuses on Danish modern art from the 1930s and 1940s, and pays close attention to the Danish art magazine Helhesten (1941-1944) and the artists’ movement of the same name. During the German occupation of Denmark, the magazine’s drawings and content formed an artistic and satirical expression of resistance to the Nazi regime. Every cover featured the helhesten horse (hell horse): a three-legged ghost horse from the Scandinavian sagas that rides to sick people at night and predicts their death.

Carl-Henning Pedersen, Helhestetegning (The Hell-Horse), 1941, Carl-Henning Pedersen & Else Alfelts Museum. Foto: Mingo Photo, c/o Pictoright 2023

Whereas this horse was normally portrayed in a terrifying way, the Helhesten artists transformed the animal into a gnarly and sweet beast. With this mode of satire, they opposed the German glorification of the Aryan race and Germanic culture. The magazine itself bluntly promoted the national and international art of the time, which in Denmark was closely associated with communism. This art was seen by the occupying forces as entartet; art that did not meet the requirements of the national socialist regime. Publishing the magazine Helhesten was thus from the outset a not harmless act of resistance: publishing literature that “poisons the spirit of the people” was officially punishable by death. In the end, Danish artists managed to survive World War II unscathed. 

Even today, satirical drawings and art are an important mode of resistance and commentary around the world. Sometimes it is a mild mockery of developments in society, sometimes it is an outspoken protest against an oppressive and dangerous regime. Following Helhesten, we will have a discussion with several cartoonists about the current state of pictorial satire. 

The talk starts at 15:30 but feel free to come an hour earlier to see the exhibition. The language of the artist talk is English.


Peter Wierenga
Moderator Peter Wierenga (1971) is a classicist and journalist. He works for de Volkskrant as editor of Opinie & Debat, the weekday opinion section. He also wrote the books Ik brul dus ik ben (interviews with international thinkers on populism), and Raak! A world tour of satire. In this last book, he examines the state of satire in different cultures, partly on the basis of interviews with cartoonists from different continents and language areas.

Jip van den Toorn
Jip van den Toorn (born 1993) is a Dutch illustrator. She is de Volkskrant’s youngest cartoonist and won the 2022 Inkspot prize for the best political drawing of the parliamentary year. Van den Toorn works for Het Parool, Vrij Nederland and De Standaard, among others. She is also a writer and editor of the satirical television programme Dit was het nieuws. Her book Crisis was published in November 2022.

Tjeerd Royaards
Tjeerd Royaards (born 1980) is a political cartoonist. In the Netherlands, his cartoons are published in Trouw and internationally, his work appears with some regularity in Le Monde, Courrier International and the Washington Post. In 2018, he won the Inktspot Prize. He also editor-in-chief of Cartoon Movement, a leading international platform for political cartoons.

Sanaz Bagheri
Sanaz Bagheri is an Iranian cartoonist, resident in the Netherlands since four years. She is an independent cartoonist and is socially and politically engaged. She decided to focus on making protest cartoons because of the conditions in her home country and the struggle against the dictatorship in Iran. She is concerned about the lack of justice and speaks out in her work against the violation of human rights, women’s rights and freedom of expression. A drawing by Bageri was featured in the special Iran edition of the satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo.

Winterschool with Tyas Leeuwerink

February 28 to March 2, 2023


After a successful first edition, the Cobra Museum is again offering a Winter School this year in collaboration with Tyas Leeuwerink. This master class is all about the personal manifesto.

As a maker, you probably recognise the intrinsic motivation to create. Sometimes this flame flares up fervently and sometimes it is at a lower pitch, but whatever you make and whatever form you choose, it says something about yourself and how you relate to the world you live in.

What do you take in from it, what appeals to you, what do you react to?

The Cobra artists responded pre-eminently to the times in which they lived. In a personal and collective quest, they strove for change within art and society. How do you relate to this time, place and society and how do you give form and substance to your thoughts? Surrounded by artworks from the Cobra collection and and our current exhibitions, you will explore this.

In this Winter School, you will work both individually and in groups, examining your own conviction and eloquence and seeking the form that best lends itself to it. Over three days, there will be short lectures and space for feedback. You will work on a series of works, stimulating you to create and opening yourself up to new ideas.

Practical information 

Dates and times: Tuesday 28 February to Thursday 2 March, daily from 10.00-17.00 hrs.
Language: Dutch and English
Cost: €185 per participant (incl. materials and coffee/tea).
For students, a special discounted rate of €150 applies on presentation of proof of registration at a recognised MBO, HBO or university course.
Tickets: go to 28 February 2023 and select tickets Winter School

Only 10 places are available. Everyone from 18 years old who has an affinity for art is welcome to participate in Winterschool, from beginners to advanced. Participants will receive the timetable and further instructions one week prior to the Winterschool.

For questions about the programme, please email o.g. “Winterschool”

Cobra Museum Tyas Leeuwerink
Cobra Museum Tyas Leeuwerink  Photo: Remon Rijper

About the lecturer:
Tyas Leeuwerink (1989, Amsterdam) is an artist and a lecturer at several leading museums in Amsterdam, including the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. He graduated from the Docent Beeldende Vorming programme and obtained the title Master of Fine Arts at the art academy. Within his work as an artist, the workings of the creative process, the moment of inspiration and working with light and dark are recurring themes. He uses various techniques in his visual work, including projection and moving image.


Guided tour through Je est un autre – Ernest Mancoba & Sonja Ferlov Mancoba by guest curator Winnie Sze

These tours will be in English

Time: 2 p.m. – 2.45 p.m., with afterwards some extra room for audience questions
Price: free (excluding museum entrance)
Reservations: the number of participants is limited to 20 people per tour. Make your reservation for Friday 27 January here or for Saturday 28 January here.
Instructions for reservation: first select the type of museum ticket during the time slot of your choice (before 2 p.m.). Next you select ‘Tour Winnie Sze’ and follow the further steps. *

During this first weekend of the anniversary program Cobra 75, we organize two exclusive guided tours by guest curator Winnie Sze. She will guide the audience through the exhibition Je est un autre – Ernest Mancoba & Sonja Ferlov Mancoba that she curated for the Cobra Museum.

Winnie Sze – Photo by Paul Skovbakke

The tour will go further into the lives and works of the artist couple Sonja Ferlov Mancoba (1911-1984, Copenhagen-Paris) and Ernest Mancoba (1904-2002, Johannesburg-Paris). Both could be considered ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’ of the Cobra art movement.  Like some of the other Cobra artists, Ernest Mancoba became inspired by Nordic prehistoric art. Together with his engagement with African sculptures, European modernism, and arts of other cultures, he came to develop an artistic language that Ejler Bille described as “combin[ing] an African feeling with a living Western culture”.

Sonja Ferlov Mancoba explored both the intuitive and the rational in art, the two sides of the artistic argument that tore the Danish avant-garde apart. Her search for a dialectic between seeming opposites was to become a crucial element in her work, including in her late sculptures that recognised the tension between the individual and humankind.

Sonja’s and Ernest’s relationship, of a white woman and a black man, was rare, and Sonja Ferlov Mancoba also stood out as a woman in a male-dominated art movement. Whilst identity politics were addressed and discussed differently in their time than ours, how might considering their art help us today?

Winnie Sze is based in Cape Town as an independent curator. During her fellowship at the Van Abbemuseum, she researched Ernest Mancoba’s relationship with the Cobra artists. Sze has a deep interest in a broader approach to visual art and focuses on socially-oriented, creative collaborations. She studied art history at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver) and previously operated a contemporary art project venue in London.

Sonja Ferlov, Maske (Krigens udbrud) (Masker, Uitbraak van oorlog), 1939, Museum Jorn, Silkeborg, c/o Pictoright 2023

* Questions about ticket sales and reservations? You can always call us from Monday till Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on 020 547 50 37.


Film screening of three episodes from the documentary series Afripedia in a collaboration with Cinema Amstelveen

Time: 15.30h
Cinema Amstelveen (Stadsplein 110)
Language: English
Combo tickets: together with Cinema Amstelveen we offer a cheaper combo ticket for a visit to Cosmogony at the Cobra Museum and Afripedia at Cinema Amstelveen. An overview of the different prices can be found here.
Tickets: combo tickets and movie tickets are available through the website of Cinema Amstelveen

Afripedia is a documentary series on the rise of a new generation of African artists, created by the Swedish Afro-collective Stocktown. Each episode focuses on a group of young artists in a different African country. Just like in the exhibition CosmogonyAfripedia celebrates the creativity of the African continent. On November 25 a selection of three episodes of the Afripedia series (84 mins in total) will be shown, taking the audience to Ghana, Senegal (& Gambia) and Angola, three hotspots of cultural production in West-Africa. Meet the outspoken musicians and street artists (including BMX stunters) in Ghana, the revolutionary designers, photographers and dancers of Senegal and see the kuduro revolution in Angola!

Before the start of the screening, Cobra Museum director Stefan van Raay will give a short introduction to the film, the exhibition Cosmogony, Zinsou an African art collection and how they are connected.

Ghana (2016)
Whether facing environmental issues head-on or inspiring people to reach for the power within themselves, art and music in Ghana are used as catalysts to move people to action and to show the world what it means to be African.

Senegal/Ivory Coast (2016)
Social media has given one Senegalese photographer the opportunity to launch his professional career. When his parents and family were unable to understand his passion for photography, a Facebook community urged him to pursue his dreams.

Angola (2016)
Angola is a land of startling contrasts, presenting in one nation the best and worst parts of Africa. Despite the chaotic conditions, Angola’s musicians see the potential inherent in their country and strive to lead its people to a brighter future.

For this screening we work together with Africadelic. Africadelic is a non-profit organization that is committed to promoting (awareness about) cultural creativity and diversity in and out of Africa and the African diaspora. The Africadelic Festival is an annual festival on and around International Africa Day on 25 May. Through concerts, films and talks, the festival offers a reflection on the state of Africa and a celebration of the cultural creativity of the continent and the diaspora.