Cosmogony - Museum Cobra


Friday 7 Oct 2022 until Sunday 8 Jan 2023

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