Tentoonstellingen Archive - Page 2 of 5 - Cobra Museum voor Moderne Kunst

Kamabade’s show

maandag 3 feb 2014 t/m vrijdag 14 feb 2014


Kamabade’s ‘The big we have everything to lose’ show

Kamabade, consisting of Artists David Bade and Kamagurka, spend two weeks in and outside of the het Cobra Museum to work on their Monument of loss. With a mobile ‘loss’ unit and an old ambulance, Kamabade drives through Amstelveen to a landfill, a nursing home, the Town Center Plaza and community homes to collect the stories, objects and the ‘loss’ from the inhabitants of Amstelveen. With this they build their monument in the museum. During construction, visitors are welcome to watch and share.

Ambulancier is a great profession!

Arnulf Rainer: Ubermaler

vrijdag 3 apr 2015 t/m zondag 27 sep 2015

foto Peter Tijhuis

Brutal Vitality: CoBrA in the hands of Bank & Rau

zaterdag 1 mrt 2014 t/m zondag 26 nov 2017


Brutal Vitality, a new museal installation in 5 stories in which Bank & Rau convey the story of CoBrA to visitors in an entirely unique way.

foto Peter Tijhuis

The Danish artists duo Bank & Rau (Lone Bak and Tanja Rau) from Copenhagen has been invited by the Cobra Museum to create a contemporary collection presentation coming from their unique vision. The collection of the museum, the associated stories and the history of the CoBrA movement with its archival pieces are the building blocks with which Bank & Rau worked. They extended it with their own artworks, inspired by the collection. This forms Brutal Vitality, a new museal installation in 5 stories in which they convey the story of CoBrA to visitors in an entirely unique way.

Foto Peter Tijhuis

Comprehensive in the practice of artist Bank & Rau are handcrafted and folk elements. By shifting aside the tradition, and everything that we take for granted in a museum, Bank & Rau is attempting to reshape the traditional museum presentation.

foto Peter Tijhuis

The exhibition Brutal Vitality by Bank & Rau was created under the Open Collections Program. The Open Collection program of the Cobra Museum is a practical research in which contemporary makers were invited to open the collection of the museum to provide a new impulse. Within this program there have been collaborations with Maria Pask / Frederique Bergholtz and the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. De Open Collection program has been made possible thanks to the Mondriaan Fonds. The Danish Arts Council, SVFK (Danish Art Workshop) and SKF (Danish Art Foundation) support the presentation of Bank & Rau.

New presentation of the collection

woensdag 1 jan 2020 t/m zondag 5 apr 2020


On the first floor we show our Cobra art collection in a new presentation, including all Cobra artist such as Karel Appel, Asger Jorn, Constant and Pierre Alechinsky. This presentation includes an extra focus on the relation that Cobra artist had with music.

foto Peter Tijhuis
foto Peter Tijhuis


UNSUNG by Anette Brolenius

zondag 3 mrt 2019 t/m zondag 30 jun 2019


Anette Brolenius is a portrait and documentary photographer focusing on social issues, in particular human and women’s rights.

foto Peter Tijhuis

At the Cobra Museum, during the exhibition of Kati Horna, the series UNSUNG by the Swedish photographer Anette Brolenius can be seen. The UNSUNG series contains about 130 portraits (and growing), made over a period of 5 years. These are black and white portraits of women’s rights activists. Twenty portraits are shown at the Cobra Museum. It has previously been exhibited in Stockholm, Paris and in Pakistan. The exhibition is a collaboration with the Committee of International Womens Day (IWD) in Amstelveen. On March 8th (International Women’s Day) a symposium will be held in teh Cobra Museum in which one of the portraited woman: Peninah Musyimi or Safe Spaces Nairobi (Kenya) is keynote speaker.

Ata Kandó

zondag 3 mrt 2019 t/m zondag 30 jun 2019


Ata Kandó: Hungarian refugees and Slave or Dead

The Cobra Museum shows work by Ata Kandó in line with the Kati Horna overview. Just like Kati Horna, Ata Kandó was a committed documentary photographer, Hungarian by origin and trained by József Pécsi.

foto Peter Tijhuis

Ata Kandó believed a good photograph had both an artistic and a social aspect, and the best photographers were those who optimally combined these two qualities. On the one hand, her work is characterised by her depiction of the personal, intimate life of her children and of animals. On the other hand, she profiled herself as a socially engaged photographer. Kandó’s socially engaged visual narratives, for example of Hungarian refugees and inhabitants of the Amazon forest (Slave or Dead), fit in with the humanistic documentary tradition of the 1950s. Both series can be seen at the Cobra Museum alongside the work of Kati Horna and Eva Besnyö.

Hungarian-born Ata Kandó completed a training in photography in Budapest in the 1930s with the then well-known photographer József Pécsi (1889-1956), who also trained Eva Besnyö and Kati Horna. After this, she and Gyula Kandó, her first husband she went to Paris trying to build a life as photographer.  Female photographers were barely accepted at that time. She did not get a work permit and worked illegally. War photographer and Magnum co-founder Robert Capa, a friend of Kandó, found work for her there. In 1950, she met the Dutch photographer Ed van der Elsken in the dark room of this photographic cooperative, and they married in 1954. In Paris they were introduced to the world of the Cobra movement and the Vijftigers, but other artists also found their way to the couple’s apartment. However, due to a constant lack of money, reality was harsh and building a social life proved almost impossible. In 1954, Kandó and Van der Elsken left for Amsterdam.

In the 1960s and 1970s Kandó mainly taught photography at the art academy. After her early retirement, the photographer immigrated to the United States. As a result, her work disappeared into the background. In the Netherlands Kandó did not enjoy the same reputation as her compatriot and friend Eva Besnyö, whose work is also shown in this exhibition alongside the work of Kati Horna.

Eva Besnyö: Dolle Mina

zondag 3 mrt 2019 t/m zondag 30 jun 2019


 In the 1970s Eva Besnyö joined Dolle Mina. In recording the campaigns and demonstrations of this women’s movement, she put new principles into practice. From these works, it shows that she wanted to use her photographic work for social change. The series Dolle Mina is on show at the Cobra Museum, in relation to the work of Kati Horna en Ata Kando.


Foto Peter Tijhuis

In the post-war period Eva Besnyö was involved in the foundation of the Gebonden Kunstenaars federatie (GKf), an art federation chaired by the later famous museum director Willem Sandberg, and was especially involved with the Department of Photography. Shortly after the bombing of Rotterdam, she photographed the city in ruins. She looked back at this with reticence: “I am still ashamed of that. Because they were beautiful pictures and you should not take beautiful pictures of devastation.” She thought a photograph should activate people. “After the war, I even distanced myself from the idea that photos should be beautiful. I had always beautifully lit and framed everything and I certainly didn’t want to continue with that super aesthetic work.” In the 1970s she joined Dolle Mina. In recording the campaigns and demonstrations of this women’s movement, she put her new principles into practice. From these works, it shows that she wanted to use her photographic work for social change. The series Dolle Mina is on show at the Cobra Museum, in relation to the work of Kati Horna en Ata Kando.

Eva Besnyö, raised in a Jewish intellectual family in Budapest, trained with József Pécsi. After completing her training, she left for Berlin, like Kati Horna, at the age of twenty, where she continued to learn the trade in photo studios. As an independent photographer she made portraits and reports, and was hired by the left-wing press agency Neofot. The rise of National Socialism in 1932 prevented her from working as a photographer and Besnyö decided to leave Berlin. She moved to Amsterdam.
In Amsterdam Besnyö worked for newspapers and press agencies. In the studio she made portraits and photographs of children. Outside of it she made reports and photographed architecture. Despite the outbreak of the Second World War, she was able to continue photographing until 1942. She was forced to go into hiding, but was given a false identity card that did not mention her Jewish background.

Eugène Brands: between studio and universe

zaterdag 20 jan 2018 t/m zondag 27 mei 2018

  • The first major retrospective of Eugène Brands with over a hundred works
  • Brands created a rich and wide-ranging oeuvre around various themes, such as the children’s drawings, the ‘panta rhei’ principle (everything flows) and the universe
  • Brands was the initiator of the first, illustrious CoBrA exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in 1949
foto Peter Tijhuis

In 21018 the exhibition Eugène Brands: from studio to universe was on view at the Cobra Museum. This major retrospective – with over a hundred works – is a journey through the various periods of Brands’ oeuvre, starting in his living room studio and ending in the cosmos. The exhibition includes Brands’ surrealist work from the 1940s, the CoBrA period, the childlike figuration of the 1950s, and his abstract work on both earthly and cosmic themes.

Eugène Brands preferred to withdraw to the familiar surroundings of his studio at home. There he created his own microcosm in which he surrounded himself with his main sources of inspiration, including world music, ethnography and knowledge about the universe. From this domestic environment, Brands used his work to reflect upon the macrocosm and the attendant existential questions about life.

Brands was only briefly involved with CoBrA. In his CoBrA period, Brands abandoned the surrealistic elements in his work and painted in a fluent, (lyrical) abstract style. His artistic output alternated between gouaches and large oil painting and ‘reliefs’ of painted wood and found materials. He shared his interest in folk art and surrealism with the other members of the CoBrA group.

Inspired by his CoBrA period and his daughter Eugénie, who started drawing around this time, Brands began making figurative work with a remarkably childlike visual idiom in 1951. It was the childish innocence of children’s drawings that appealed to him, but also the strangeness and sometimes sinister undertone. He longed to express himself in a similarly uninhibited manner.

In the mid-60s, Brands found inspiration in the landscape, in nature and its mystery. Through these subjects in his painting, he also managed to find a new place in his oeuvre for his long-held fascination with the cosmos, the planets and stars. The ‘panta rhei’ principle of the Greek philosopher Heraclitus was central in this: the idea that everything flows, everything moves and everything is infinite. This resulted, among other things, in large abstract works that allowed more space for existential musings.

foto Peter Tijhuis

The exhibition Eugène Brands: between studio and universe is compiled by the Cobra Museum in collaboration with Eugénie Brands and the Eugène Brands Foundation. Works are on loan from the Christian Ouwens Collection, T.S. Okker, and the Kok – Van den Leuvert Collection, among others.

These and other collectors are central in the book initiated by Eugénie Brands and author Ruud Lapré, that will be published by 99 Uitgevers: 10 x verzameld (’10 x collected’). The book will be presented on the day of the exhibition opening, on 19 January at the Cobra Museum.

Corbulations by Jakob Kolding

zaterdag 7 okt 2017 t/m zondag 7 jan 2018


Upon the request of the Cobra Museum, the Danish artist Jakob Kolding (Denmark, 1971) presents Corbulations, a new work developed in response to the exhibition Le Corbusier’s Fourth Dimension. Corbulations makes optimum use of the various positions between the work of Le Corbusier, the work of the CoBrA artists and the perspective of the artist himself.

Photo Peter Tijhuis

In Corbulations these perspectives are played out in an exhibition layout conceived by Kolding, including works by Le Corbusier (ranging from paintings and tapestries to sculptures and drawings) and CoBrA artworks. These are furthermore combined with a series of new collages and a range of cut-out figures by Kolding, that interact with each other, the other works on display, as well as with the exhibition visitor. The work is subdivided into three themes. The start and the end of the exhibition are literally framed by the theme Architecture. Two other themes are the human body, and ‘plan’ and ‘play’.

Photo Peter Tijhuis

Kolding’s work revolves around an expanded notion of collage, often creating constellations of objects (he speaks of spatial collages) in which the social, physical, psychological and political are merged.

Kolding has shown a keen interest in modern architecture since he was young: “In a way I almost literally grew up in between Le Corbusier without whom a suburb like Albertslund would not have existed and Asger Jorn and Cobra with posters in my childhood home. Between the plan and the dérive. These two positions profoundly influenced me while growing up, and later seeped into my work. Although often presented as contradictory positions, they are of course also part of each other. You cannot have a plan without life, without play, as both Le Corbusier and Asger Jorn knew well, even if they approached it differently, maybe even from opposite directions.”



Enrico Baj: Play as Protest

zaterdag 4 feb 2017 t/m zondag 14 mei 2017


“Only fun can validly oppose the system”

The Cobra Museum of Modern Art in Amstelveen displays an extensive selection from the works of the Italian artist Enrico Baj (1924-2003). Enrico Baj: Play as Protest is a simultaneous re-introduction in the Netherlands of this freespirited artist’s work. The exhibition displays about 100 of the artist’s works dating from the 50s, 60s and 70s.

Enrico Baj’s works look playful, colourful and humorous, but simultaneously show his sharp socio-critical, even anarchist, attitude. Baj himself stated that “only fun can validly oppose the system”. Baj used play as a form of engagement and creation as a form of protest. His work was a protest against fascism, totalitarian systems, the power of the ruling class and the potential annihilation of the environment (the then new nuclear threat). The exhibition shows how Baj playfully used the strategies of satire and deliberate disrespect as means of protest against a society that seems to be on the constant verge of self-destruction.

Baj developed a highly original visual language with assemblage paintings bursting with fun. Just like the Cobra artists, Baj loved to experiment with materials and media, and the exhibition includes not only paintings but also ceramics, Meccano sculptures, assemblages, publications and manifests. The exhibition begins in the 50s with works from the period by the Movimento Arte Nucleare, founded by Baj. Asger Jorn, co-founder of CoBrA, would later participate in this movement. Jorn also had a special bond with Baj. He wrote in 1953, “Dear Comrade, this is the first bond of friendship I’ve entered into after my years of isolation. It would be my pleasure to work together.

Enrico Baj, Generali 1960/1961 Collectie Fondazione Marconi. Foto © Peter Tijhuis / Cobra Museum voor Moderne Kunst

The exhibition includes Baj’s series Generali (Generals) from the first half of the 60s, with which he also participated in the Venice Biennial in 1964. The Generals are absurd characters that partly consist of found objects like belts and medals. Works from the 70s include sculptures from Meccano toys, which provide a commentary on the improvident use of technology and the automation of humans in society.

The exhibition closes with the 12-metre wide work I funerali dell’anarchico Pinelli (Funeral of the anarchist Pinelli) from 1972. This work was a reaction to the real events and was censored in Italy at the time, but then shown internationally in other museums like Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (1973).

Enrico Baj. Begrafenis van de anarchist Pinelli 1972 Collectie Fondazione Marconi. Foto © Peter Tijhuis / Cobra Museum voor Moderne Kunst

Unfortunately, we must conclude that threats similar to those against which Baj protested still exist in today’s society. In an interview between artist Maurizio Cattelan and Baj, made especially for the catalogue, the comparison is made with the war in Syria and the current real danger of environmental issues. For these reasons, the Cobra Museum also looks to contemporary protest groups. On 23 April the museum will collaborate with the Vrije Bond and hold an Anarchist BAJ gathering dedicated to lectures, poetry, anarcho folk music, documentaries and a tour of the exhibition by art historian and anarchist Dick Gevers.

Enrico Baj: Play as Protest is curated by Carrie Pilto in collaboration with Luca Bochicchio in the role of research consultant and with the generous cooperation of Archivio Enrico Baj, Vergiate and Fondazione Marconi, Milan. Theatre maker Beppe Costa has put together an audio tour especially for this exhibition.

The works in the exhibition are mainly from the Archivio Enrico Baj and from Fondazione Marconi in Milan. There are also valuable additional loans from private collections and from the S.M.A.K. in Ghent and Museo d’arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto.