Dutch Cobra artists from the collection  

vrijdag 27 jan 2023 t/m zondag 14 mei 2023

Deel:

An animal, a night, a cry
Dutch Cobra artists from the collection

An animal, a night, a cry is an exhibition of works created by Dutch members of the Cobra movement from the late 1940s to the mid-1950s. The exhibits are either from the permanent collection of the Cobra Museum or are works on long-term loan to the museum.

Karel Appel, Jongetje op speelgoedpaard, 1949, olieverf op doek, langdurig bruikleen privécollectie, c/o Pictoright 2023
Karel Appel, Jongetje op speelgoedpaard, 1949, olieverf op doek, langdurig bruikleen privécollectie, c/o Pictoright 2023

Following the repression and deprivations of the Second World War, the Dutch Cobra artists craved artistic and intellectual freedom, spontaneity, and novelty. They sought inspiration in forms of art foreign to the academic tradition, such as children’s drawings, folk art and outsider art, and they experimented with new materials and forms. Although they did not aspire to a single communal style, their pictures amounted to a distinctive Cobra world full of colourful birds, fabulous beings, people and heavenly  bodies. Constant formulated it as follows: ‘A painting is not a structure of colours and lines, but an animal, a night, a cry, a man, or all of these together.’   

The name of the Cobra movement (1948-1951) is composed of the initials of the cities of Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam, where many of the artists lived. The Dutch members included  Karel Appel, Corneille, Constant, Jan Nieuwenhuijs, Anton Rooskens, Theo Wolvecamp, Eugène Brands and the poet-painter Lucebert. These young artists were keen to interact and exchange ideas with kindred spirits outside the Netherlands. When Appel, Corneille and Constant visited Denmark in 1948, they felt an immediate kinship with the mentality of Danish artists and a shared interest in experimentation, folk art, and spontaneous artistic expression. Work by these Danish artists is currently on show on the first floor of the museum. But all was not unanimity within the movement. There were also differences and conflicts of opinion between the members. Despite these, Cobra’s ideas and vitality would continue to reverberate through the art world for a long time to come. 

Becoming Ovartaci

vrijdag 27 jan 2023 t/m zondag 14 mei 2023

Deel:

Exhibition
Becoming Ovartaci

Featuring more than 70 paintings, drawings and sculptures, the exhibition provides an introduction to the art and life of Danish artist Ovartaci and it is made in collaboration with the Museum Ovartaci in Aarhus, Denmark. The majority of the works in the exhibition are borrowed from private collectors, thus, exhibited to the public for the very first time. The two rediscovered works from the Collection l’Art Brut will also be included in the exhibition at the Cobra Museum for the first time as works attributed to Ovartaci.

Ovartaci, Zonder titel (Den kinesiske formel, De Chinese formule), ongedateerd, privé collectie. Foto: Ole Hein II

A remarkable artist in her own right, Ovartaci (1894-1985, born Louis Marcussen) created a life’s work unified with her own radical life story. Ovartaci’s work raises above any conventional categorization such as expressionism, surrealism, or art brut. Her work poses impeccably contemporary questions of power relations, tolerance, and identity. She was a gifted, self-taught artist, a poet, a world traveler, an intellectual, a psychiatric patient, a dreamer and much more. Her astounding paintings, sculptures, works on paper and wall paintings encompass her entire world. She lived in and with her art.

The exhibition unveils and presents the astonishing story of the art and life of the Danish artist Ovartaci. An extraordinary art historical tale, taking place in the periphery of the Cobra movement (1948-1951).

Ovartaci, Zonder titel (Sommerfuglepige, Vlindermeisje), ongedateerd, privé collectie. Foto: Ole Akhøj

Ovartaci
Ovartaci was the name she gave herself when forcibly admitted to the psychiatric ward of the Risskov Hospital in Aarhus in 1929. After she was diagnosed with schizophrenia, she spent the rest of her life as a residential patient. The name Ovartaci can be translated as ‘head patient’, a derivative of ‘overtossi’ in the Jutland dialect, ‘overtosse’ in Danish.

Central to Ovartaci’s work is the concept of metamorphosis and transformation. She felt the need to literally transform the world around her into her own universe and into a more beautiful place: she made grand plans to paint not only her own room and furniture, but the entire hospital. During the 56 years Ovartaci lived in the psychiatric hospital, she was given freedom to develop as an artist. Living in a persistent process of art making was her way of coping, being and breathing. She was a firm believer of Buddhism, animism, and reincarnation. Her primary source of inspiration was her many previous lives.

In the early 1950s, Ovartaci expressed a strong desire to transition into a woman. She applied for gender reassignment surgery knowing that she would become herself and find peace of mind. Her request was denied, so she took matters into her own hands and amputated herself in 1954. After this, doctors complete the operation surgically.

Ovartaci transformed her 12 square meter room into an exuberant, imaginary universe. Besides herself it was inhabited by animals and elongated cat-like female hybrids in high heels exploring the world, sailing, flying, dancing and riding bicycles. These hybrids were everywhere, adorning every inch of the walls as giant cutouts, as small sculptures or in paintings. They even materialized as life size dolls and creatures. They were the soul mates, sisters, companions, and life witnesses of the artist living with them in a combined studio, bed and living room. This entire immersive, surreal fantasy world was the real life of Ovartaci.

Ovartaci, – Main building of the former psychiatric hospital in Risskov (Aarhus/Denmark), privé collectie

Discovered
Ovartaci met the acclaimed Danish Cobra artist Asger Jorn in 1952. At that time Jorn was hospitalized at the sanatorium in Silkeborg. Interested in art made by psychiatric patients, he was entirely captivated by the intelligence and the artistic praxis of his peer. Jorn was so taken by Ovartaci’s mesmerizing work that he invited Ovartaci to exhibit in Paris. Ovartaci declined the invitation, but Jorn arranged for her work to be sent to Jean Dubuffet, who included two of her works in his personal collection which later became the foundation of the Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne.
The verification of the two works in the Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne has, however, been an unsolved mystery for a long time, as it has not been possible to detect them in the collection’s database. This remained the case until July 2022 when the two works were identified by guest-curator Naja Rasmussen during the researching and curation of the exhibition Becoming Ovartaci at the Cobra Museum. The works had been missing 60 years asthey had been filed under the name ‘Gonzales’ and not ‘Ovartaci’. A name that Ovartaci would also frequently use.

Revelation of the Biennale di Venezia
In 2022, thirty-seven years after her death, Ovartaci is gaining major international acclaim as part of the 59th Biennale di Venezia exhibition The Milk of Dreams. Some even appointed Ovartaci as that year’s revelation and greatest find.

Ovartaci, Zonder titel, ongedateerd, Museam Ovartaci. Foto: Museum Ovartaci

Richly illustrated catalogue
The exhibition Becoming Ovartaci is part of the anniversary year of Cobra 75 and, together with the exhibitions We Kiss the Earth. Danish modern art 1934-1948 and Je est un autre. Ernest Mancoba and Sonja Ferlov form a triptych on Danish modern art. The three exhibitions are accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue compiled by the guest curators and published bilingually (Dutch and English) by Waanders Uitgevers. The book with We Kiss the Earth is available at the Cobra Museum shop, among others.

Guest curator Naja Rasmussen
Becoming Ovartaci is curated by Naja Rasmussen chief curator at Kunstmuseum Brandts in Odense, Denmark. Before that, she was chief curator at ARKEN Museum of Modern Art in Ishøj. She has published numerous scientific articles on modern and contemporary art in Danish and international catalogues, and art publications.

Celebrating Cobra 75
2023 marks 75 years since the revolutionary Cobra movement was founded in Paris. The Cobra Museum of Modern Art in Amstelveen is celebrating this anniversary year with a major exhibition programme. Cobra (1948-1951) was an international movement of young, progressive artists creating colourful, expressive-spontaneous art. In the years after World War II, they caused a revolution: a breakthrough in modern art that continues to this day in artistic conceptions and artistic expressions. The name Cobra is a composite of: Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam. The capitals where the founders of this artist group originated. These include Jorn from Denmark, Dotremont and Noiret from Belgium, Appel, Corneille and Constant from the Netherlands. Besides these big names, the Cobra Museum makes a strong case for an inclusive approach to the Cobra movement and regularly adds to the traditional Cobra canon. In 2019, for example, there was a major exhibition “New Nuances” specially dedicated to women artists in and around Cobra.

With thanks to
The anniversary programme Cobra 75 has been made possible by our partners and generous supporters. We especially thank the municipality of Amstelveen, VriendenLoterij, Trebbe, BPD, Rabobank Amstel & Vecht, Hizkia, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, New Carlsberg Foundation, Embassy of Denmark, KEIM and the Cobra Business Club.

Ernest Mancoba and Sonja Ferlov

vrijdag 27 jan 2023 t/m zondag 14 mei 2023

Deel:

Exhibition
Je est un autre
Ernest Mancoba and Sonja Ferlov

This exhibition brings over 60 of works together in an intimate overview. It showcases the works of South African-born sculptor and painter Ernest Mancoba (1904-2002) and Danish-born sculptor Sonja Ferlov (1911-1984). Both were involved at the founding of the Cobra movement in Denmark, albeit from the sidelines. In 2019, Centre Pompidou in Paris presented two retrospectives of their oeuvre and in the same year the Statens Museum of Art in Copenhagen showed an overview of Sonja Ferlov.

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

Recluses
The life stories of Ferlov and Mancoba are compelling and had a profound impact on their art. Their interracial relationship was unique at the time and they experienced backlash and racism. They were to spend much of their lives together, almost as recluses from society, drawing social and artistic companionship from each other. Because of this close relationship, their artistic works influenced the other’s whilst remaining undeniably individual. They also shared an interest in other cultures. The exhibition Je est un autre addresses how these different aspects affected their work and informed their belief that the purpose of art was to help humanity find common ground.

Je est un autre
Their relative isolation that started in the latter years in Kattinge continued through the rest of their lives in France, exacerbated by their very humble circumstances. It did not mean they grew indifferent to society, indeed their concerns about societal discord seemed to motivate their art, as can be seen in their later works, such as Ferlov’s “Mask and Figure” (1977-84) and Mancoba’s kota-esque paintings.

Mancoba and Ferlov quoted the nineteenth-century French poet Arthur Rimbaud “Je est un autre“, which Mancoba translated as “I is somebody else”. Rimbaud’s grammatical error of using est (is) instead of suis (am) is poetic intent. Mancoba and Ferlov may have interpreted it as a symbol that it is impossible to actually be the other, but that one should try. It is the message they wanted to convey to the world: we have suffered, but we hold out hope that humanity can find a way to minimise suffering.

Ernest Mancoba, Zonder titel, 1950, Museum Jorn, Silkeborg, c/o Pictoright 2023

Paris
Ernest Mancoba came to Paris from South Africa to study in 1938. He had been taught woodcarving at a missionary school, where his talent had been noticed. But he also understood that in his colonised homeland his opportunities as a black African would be limited. Sonja Ferlov grew up in a well-to-do family in Denmark and attended several arts and crafts schools, where she was friends with artists such as Richard Mortensen and Ejler Bille. She was also part of the surrealist Danish artists’ society Linien (1934-39) and contributed to the magazine of the same name. In 1936, she moved to Paris, where she was befriended artists such as Alberto Giacometti, Joan Miró and Max Ernst.

Mancoba and Ferlov met in Paris shortly before the outbreak of World War II. They were part of the same circle of friends and soon became lovers. The War brought them both trauma and unexpected happiness. Mancoba was interned in a POW camp, and at the Drancy transport camp, he encountered shocking levels of violence, including prisoners turning violent against each other. But they were also allowed to marry at the St Denis camp, where a German soldier secretly photographed them on their wedding day and gifted them the prints.

The War profoundly affected Ferlov’s work. The spontaneous and rapid making of her earlier surrealist works gave way to sculpting as long ruminations – or as she describes it, a way to make order out of chaos. “Skulptur” (1940-46), which is included in the exhibition, was the only major work Ferlov made during the length of the war and beyond. It is a work of great tension, the sculpture’s enveloping skin barely able to contain the mass; it creates an aura that is simultaneously “silent” and yet speaks volumes.

Sonja Ferlov, Compositie, 1938, olieverf op doek, 34.6 x 27.6 cm, collectie Cobra Museum voor Moderne Kunst c/o Pictoright 2022
Sonja Ferlov, Compositie, 1938, olieverf op doek, 34.6 x 27.6 cm, collectie Cobra Museum voor Moderne Kunst c/o Pictoright 2022

Kattinge
In 1947, Ferlov and Mancoba, along with their one-year-old son, left war-torn Paris and settled in Kattinge, Denmark. They would remain there for five years. Although of relatively short duration, the time had a huge impact on their art and lives. It was a time of inventiveness that influenced their later work, with Ferlov exploring both the artistic directions that would come to tear apart the Danish avant-garde community and Mancoba discovering the frescoes of Danish medieval churches, among other Scandinavian influences.

The frescoes may have inspired Mancoba to take up painting. In this exhibition we bring together some of his paintings and drawings of this time, some of which have never been exhibited or not for decades. For instance, “Untitled” (1950/51), in a private collection, has not been exhibited since the 1970s.

In 1948, Ferlov and Mancoba were invited to participate in the annual exhibition of the Danish art association Høst. There, they met and be-friended the Danish avant-garde and the artists who would become associated with Cobra (1948-1951) including Karel Appel, Constant and Corneille. They became members of the association in 1949 but that year saw Høst effectively disband in acrimony, with the avant-garde unable to reconcile their differences over the direction of art. Mancoba and Ferlov became estranged from the group. They were invited to be guests of other associations but never to be members. Since the associations were the main platform for exhibition and sales in Denmark, it affected the family’s livelihood as artists. Their artistic isolation, intolerance of Mancoba’s ethnicity and concerns about their son Wonga’s education eventually motivated the family to return to France.

Richly illustrated catalogue
The exhibition Je est un autre. Ernest Mancoba and Sonja Ferlov is part of the anniversary year Cobra 75 and, together with the exhibitions We Kiss the Earth. Danish Modern Art 1934-1948 and Becoming Ovartaci forms a triptych on Danish modern art. The three exhibitions are accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue compiled by the guest curators and published bilingually (Dutch and English) by Waanders Uitgevers. The book We Kiss the Earth is available at the Cobra Museum shop, among others.

Guest-curator Winnie Sze
Winnie Sze is based in Cape Town as an independent curator. During her fellowship at the Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven), 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 in South Africa. Sze studied fine art at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada) and previously ran a contemporary art project venue in London.

Celebrating Cobra 75
2023 marks 75 years since the revolutionary Cobra movement was founded in Paris. The Cobra Museum of Modern Art in Amstelveen is celebrating this anniversary year with a major exhibition programme. Cobra (1948-1951) was an international movement of young, progressive artists creating colourful, expressive-spontaneous art. In the years after World War II, they caused a revolution: a breakthrough in modern art that continues to this day in artistic conceptions and artistic expressions. The name Cobra is a composite of: Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam. The capitals where the founders of this artist group originated. These include Jorn from Denmark, Dotremont and Noiret from Belgium, Appel, Corneille and Constant from the Netherlands. Besides these big names, the Cobra Museum makes a strong case for an inclusive approach to the Cobra movement and regularly adds to the traditional Cobra canon. In 2019, for example, there was a major exhibition “New Nuances” specially dedicated to women artists in and around Cobra.

With thanks to
The anniversary programme Cobra 75 has been made possible by our partners and generous supporters. We especially thank the municipality of Amstelveen, VriendenLoterij, Trebbe, BPD, Rabobank Amstel & Vecht, Hizkia, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, New Carlsberg Foundation, Embassy of Denmark, KEIM and the Cobra Business Club.

Activiteit/workshop
Guided tour by Winnie Zse

Sonja Ferlov, Zonder titel, 1938, Museum Jorn, Silkeborg, c/o Pictoright 2023

We Kiss the Earth

vrijdag 27 jan 2023 t/m zondag 14 mei 2023

Deel:

Exhibition
We Kiss the Earth
Danish modern art 1934-1948

The exhibition gives an overview of the most important developments in Danish art in the years before, during and immediately after World War II, up to the founding of Cobra. Almost all of the 100 artworks in the exhibition are from Danish museums, who are lending masterpieces from their collections to the Cobra Museum.

In the first part of the exhibition We Kiss the Earth, visitors are taken through the origins of Danish abstract-surrealist art in the 1930s. Here, the artists’ collective Linien (“the line”) founded in 1934 and the magazine of the same name played a leading role.

Carl-Henning Pedersen, Helhestetegning (The Hell-Horse), 1943, Carl-Henning Pedersen & Else Alfelts Museum. Photo: Mingo Photo, c/o Pictoright 2023

The second part of the exhibition focuses on one of Denmark’s most radical artist collectives: Helhesten (1941 – 1944), also with a magazine of the same name (‘the Hell Horse’). Helhesten was initiated by Asger Jorn. Among the many other artists involved were Ejler Bille, Henry Heerup, Carl-Henning Pedersen and Else Alfelt. During the German occupation of Denmark, Danish artists were initially barely subject to censorship or other limitations. Unlike the Netherlands and Belgium, they could create and exhibit art until 1943 without worrying about the consequences. The occupation, the isolation from foreign countries and the close collaboration between the artists in the art magazine Helhesten formed a pressure cooker in which Danish art transformed pre-war surrealism into spontaneous abstraction and highly socially engaged art.

Helhesten‘s art was one of the great pioneers of later Cobra art: many of the Helhesten artists were involved in Cobra from the beginning. The developments in Danish art between the end of the war and the start of Cobra are the main focus of the final part of the exhibition.

Egill Jacobsen, Rød maske (Rood masker), 1943, Cobra Museum voor Moderne Kunst Amstelveen, c/o Pictoright 2023

Precursor to Cobra
In the years 1934-1948, a spontaneous, abstract art form developed that was unique to Denmark and would later be an important pioneer for the Cobra movement (1948-1951). The artists who started Cobra came from the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark. The Dutch and Belgian artists were relatively young, unlike the Danish artists who were on average 10-15 years older. They had already experienced artistic development before and during World War II, and exhibited a lot of art. In doing so, they had a great influence on the younger generation of Cobra artists. Never before has an exhibition outside of Denmark been dedicated to this subject. Moreover, We Kiss the Earth breaks through the traditional canon of art history and also showcases women artists and artists who have often been ignored in conventional Danish and international art history, such as Else Alfelt, Franciska Clausen, Rita Kernn-Larsen and Elsa Thoresen.

Catalogue We Kiss the Earth at the museum shop
The exhibition We Kiss the Earth. Danish Modern Art 1934-1948 is part of the anniversary year Cobra 75 and, together with the exhibitions Je est un autre. Ernest Mancoba & Sonja Ferlov and Becoming Ovartaci  forms a triptych on Danish modern art. The three exhibitions are accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue compiled by the guest curators and published bilingually (Dutch and English) by Waanders Uitgevers. The book We Kiss the Earth is available at the Cobra Museum shop, among others.

Henry Heerup, Zonder titel, ongedateerd, de Helle en Finn Poulsen Collection. Foto: Ralf T. Søndergaard, c/o Pictoright 2023

Title – quote by Heerup
The title of the exhibition refers to a 1944 quote by Danish sculptor and painter Henry Heerup, in which he advocates abolishing pedestals to display sculptures on. These would get in the way of art and viewers and literally raise the threshold for enjoying art. Heerup wanted to bring art closer to the people and exhibited his works directly on the grass and earth: he kissed the Earth (he writes: “Vi Kysser Jorden” – “We Kiss the Earth”).

Guest-curator Pim Arts
The exhibition We Kiss the Earth. Danish Modern Art 1934-1948 is curated by guest curator Pim Arts, in collaboration with Hilde de Bruijn, who was also responsible for the concept of this Danish triptych. Pim Arts studied Art History and obtained his Master’s Degree from the University of Groningen. He holds a second master’s degree in Curatorial Studies from the University of Amsterdam. Arts has since held curatorial positions at the Cobra Museum, the Rijksmuseum, the Karel Appel Foundation and Museum Catharijneconvent.

Celebrating Cobra 75
2023 marks 75 years since the revolutionary Cobra movement was founded in Paris. The Cobra Museum of Modern Art in Amstelveen is celebrating this anniversary year with a major exhibition programme. Cobra (1948-1951) was an international movement of young, progressive artists creating colourful, expressive-spontaneous art. In the years after World War II, they caused a revolution: a breakthrough in modern art that continues to this day in artistic conceptions and artistic expressions. The name Cobra is a composite of: Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam. The capitals where the founders of this artist group originated. These include Jorn from Denmark, Dotremont and Noiret from Belgium, Appel, Corneille and Constant from the Netherlands. Besides these big names, the Cobra Museum makes a strong case for an inclusive approach to the Cobra movement and regularly adds to the traditional Cobra canon. In 2019, for example, there was a major exhibition “New Nuances” specially dedicated to women artists in and around Cobra.

With thanks to
The anniversary programme Cobra 75 has been made possible by our partners and generous supporters. We especially thank the municipality of Amstelveen, VriendenLoterij, Trebbe, BPD, Rabobank Amstel & Vecht, Hizkia, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Carlsberg foundation, Embassy of Denmark, KEIM and the Cobra Business Club.

Visions from Ukraine

donderdag 29 sep 2022 t/m woensdag 4 jan 2023

Deel:

VISIONS FROM UKRAINE  

September 29 – December 20, Cobra Cafe
The Cobra Cafe is open from Tuesday – Sunday, 10.00 – 17.00 hrs, entrance is free  

The Cobra Museum for Modern Art and the Ukrainian School Dzherelo in Amstelveen present 

Exhibition of Ukrainian Posters 

Together with Dzherelo, the Ukrainian School in Amstelveen, the Cobra Museum for Modern Art organizes an exhibition of posters, created by illustrators from the Ukrainian collective Pictoric.  Pictoric brings together a broad community of Ukrainian artist, ranging from graphic designers to famous children’s books illustrators. Since the start of the war, they comment on the situation in their country through their illustrations, but they also aim to show the pride, strength and hope of the Ukrainian people with their work. A selection of these images will be on display at the Cobra Cafe from September 20 until October 30.  

Ukrainian School & The Cobra Museum
The Cobra Museum and the Ukrainian School Dzherelo join together to present an exhibition in Amstelveen that reflects the current situation in Ukraine as perceived by the Ukrainians themselves. The Ukrainian School Dzherelo (Source), located at the community centre Westend, has been a meeting place for the Ukrainian community in Amstelveen, Amsterdam and the region for years. Every Sunday children learn about the Ukrainian language and culture at the school. Art also forms a considerable part of the curriculum. Since the beginning of the war and the arrival of Ukrainian refugees to the Netherlands, the importance of Dzherelo has only increased.  

Pictoric
The posters of the Ukrainian illustrator collective Pictoric were already on display in different places in the world; in New York, Ottawa, Paris, Florence and Utrecht, in places like museums, libraries or on the streets. Some illustrators from the collective still work from Ukraine, but some of them had to flee their country and now work from different places. From the establishment in 2014 the illustrators from Pictoric find their inspiration in the contemporary Ukrainian culture and daily life. The collective already took part in various national and international projects.  

Cobra 75: Danish Modern Art

vrijdag 27 jan 2023 t/m zondag 14 mei 2023

Deel:

In 2023 it will be 75 years since the revolutionary Cobra movement was founded in Paris. The Cobra Museum of Modern Art in Amstelveen is celebrating this anniversary year with a smashing exhibition programme. Cobra 75  kicks off with a triptych of Danish modern art.

Plan your visit & buy tickets

We Kiss the Earth
Danish Modern Art 1934-1948Exhibition
27 January – 14 May 2023

More information

The anniversary year of Cobra 75 kicks off with a triptych of Danish modern art. The Danish artists who founded Cobra in 1948 had a great influence on the much younger Dutch and Belgian Cobra members. Developments in Danish modern art from the 1930s and 1940s take centre stage with themes such as sexual freedom, politics, provocation, experimentation and spontaneity. These developments would later have such a profound influence on Cobra. This is the first large survey outside Denmark that presents around 100 masterpieces by more than 25 artists. 

Je est un autre
Ernest Mancoba & Sonja Ferlov
Exhibition
27 January – 14 May 2023

More information

A presentation on the artist couple Sonja Ferlov (Denmark) and Ernest Mancoba (South Africa) complements this retrospective. Both were involved in founding the Cobra movement in Denmark. Their interracial relationship was unique at the time. They each had their own international artistic practice. In 2019, Centre Pompidou presented two major retrospectives of their oeuvre; a selection will be exhibited in Amstelveen. 

Becoming Ovartaci
Exhibition
27 January – 14 May 2023

More information

Ovartaci’s intriguing work forms the final part of the Danish triptych. Ovartaci – born Louis Marcussen – spent most of her life in a psychiatric hospital. Transformation is the central theme in her life and work. The exhibition of paintings, drawings and sculptures is an ode to the imagination and inspiration of this Danish artist who died in 1985 at the age of 91.

Anton Corbijn – MOØDe

vrijdag 20 okt 2023 t/m zondag 28 jan 2024

Deel:

In MOØDe, photographer and filmmaker Anton Corbijn presents photographs from his extensive oeuvre in which he explores the crossover between photography and the world of fashion – in the broadest sense of the word. The exhibition, previously on show in Belgium, contains around 200 photographs, including the now iconic portraits Corbijn made of Kate Moss, Tom Waits, Alexander McQueen and Naomi Campbell.

SUPREME new york 2017 ©anton corbijn

The Other Picasso – Back to the Origin

vrijdag 2 jun 2023 t/m zondag 17 sep 2023

Deel:

The year 2023 also marks the 50th anniversary of the death of one of the most famous artists of the 20th century and this will be widely commemorated in France and Spain. The Cobra Museum is also dedicating a special exhibition to Picasso.

Pablo Picasso, Mains tenant un Poisson A.R.214, 1953, Collectie Serra, Mallorca, c/o Pictoright 2022
Pablo Picasso, Visage de Femme I A.R.616, 13-03-1971, Collectie Serra, Mallorca, c/o Pictoright 2022

In his career, Picasso always returned to his childhood and his cultural background, in which dance and theatre played a major role. Moreover, he was a source of inspiration for many Cobra artists. “Every child is an artist” is one of his most famous statements. This careful selection of drawings, ceramics and etchings shows the hand of the master who was never afraid to experiment.

Cobra 75: Freedom without Borders 

vrijdag 2 jun 2023 t/m zondag 8 okt 2023

Deel:

In 2023, the Cobra Museum in Amstelveen will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the international Cobra movement (1948 – 1951) by bringing together the work of Appel, Constant, Corneille and Jorn with that of Picasso, Beckmann, Basquiat, Munch and contemporary artists such as Jonathan Meese and Cecily Brown. 

Karel Appel, Le Regard, 1950, loan Collection ABN AMRO ©Pictoright 2022

It shows the universal character of Cobra and its close kinship with the free, expressive working methods of artists throughout the years. With around 150 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, photographs and ceramics, the public is invited to compare the work of a large number of Cobra artists and find connections with related earlier, contemporaneous or later artists.   

Cosmogony

vrijdag 7 okt 2022 t/m zondag 8 jan 2023

Deel:

Zinsou, an African Art Collection

This year the Cobra Museum has a special focus on art from different parts of Africa. In doing so, we follow the example of a number of Cobra artists in their fascination for African art. In the autumn we present the exhibition Cosmogony: Zinsou, an African Art Collection with a selection of 130 works of art by 37 African artists, from different countries and from different generations. The Cobra Museum supplements this imaginative exhibition with an original program of activities.

Emo de Medeiros, Surtenture #4 (… and the Dreams of Thunder Permeate the String of Inflections)[Overspanning #4 (… en de dromen van donder doordringen de keten van verbuigingen)], 2015, Zinsou Collection, courtesy of the artist c/o Pictoright 2022
On the occasion of an African-French conference in Montpellier in 2021, dedicated to culture, creativity and innovation, MO.CO. Montpellier Contemporary in the exhibition Cosmogonies: Zinsou, une collection africaine, where a large part of the Zinsou art collection was shown for the first time in Europe. The selection of artworks, consisting of sculptures, photography, paintings and installations, was presented around the theme of ‘Cosmogony’ and refers to the study of the creation of the cosmos. This concept has led to several themes in this exhibition: ‘Alphabet and Codes’, ‘Identity and Memory’,  ‘Life As It Comes’, ‘Pose and Staging ‘, ‘Critical Reflection’, ‘Mythology and Symbols’ and ‘Metamorphoses’. Exhibiting this collection in this context has been done with the desire to raise awareness among people of the vibrant contemporary art scene that is present all over the African continent. In addition to internationally recognized names such as Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Cyprien Tokoudagba, Mallick Sidibé, Chéri Samba and Zanele Muholi, they also came into contact with young talent, giving them a better idea of ​​the modern influences that shape the contemporary experience alongside cultural traditions. in Africa.

Zanele Muholi, Mizuzu Parkttown JHB, 2019, Zinsou Collection, courtesy Galerie Carole Kvasnevski & Muholi Productions © Zanele Muholi

Building on the intention of MO.CO Montpellier, the Cobra Museum also wants to introduce the Dutch public to this African art collection, whose works not only all come from Africa, but the collection itself was created in Benin. The exhibition provides the Zinsou Foundation with a platform to present part of their special collection on an international scale, and the Dutch public is given the exceptional opportunity to get to know the contemporary African art world in depth. The Cobra Museum welcomes this treasure chest of contemporary African art and hopes that it can make a substantial contribution to broadening and diversifying the art offered in Dutch museums.

Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Untitled, 1987-1988 (Serie Bodies of Experience), Zinsou Collection, courtesy Autograph, London © Rotimi Fani-Kayode