Tentoonstellingen Archive - Page 2 of 7 - Cobra Museum voor Moderne Kunst

We Kiss the Earth

vrijdag 27 jan 2023 t/m zondag 14 mei 2023


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



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.  

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


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

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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
27 January – 14 May 2023

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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
27 January – 14 May 2023

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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 22 dec 2023 t/m zondag 12 mei 2024


The world of fashion through the lens of Anton Corbijn. From 22 December 2023 to 12 May 2024, over 200 fashion-related photographs by this leading photographer and filmmaker will be on display at the Cobra Museum of Modern Art in Amstelveen. The MOØDe exhibition also features portraits Corbijn made of people like Kate Moss, Tom Waits, Alexander McQueen and Naomi Campbell.

In the exhibition MOØDe, Anton Corbijn (Strijen, 1955) presents photographs from his extensive oeuvre (between 1979 2023) in which he explores the crossover between portrait photography and the fashion world. In doing so, Corbijn embraces the terms mood and mode (fashion) in the broadest sense. Corbijn is an admirer of fashion photographers such as Irving Penn, Nick Knight, Peter Lindbergh, Paolo Roversi and Helmut Newton. Whereas these photographers usually do portraits in addition to fashion photography, with Corbijn it is the other way around: he is a portrait photographer who occasionally visits the fashion world.

Photography plays a major role in the global fashion culture and industry. It largely determines how we look at a fashion design and is used by designers to amplify their vision and visual identity. The trendy and ever-changing fashion world collaborates with photographers and visual artists who not only capture reality but also actually create it. For photography, in turn, the fashion worlds distinct visual universe is a very rewarding subject. With MOØDe, Anton Corbijn shows that fashion is all around us.  
I predominantly photograph personalities, but fashion is increasingly part of it. We all decide every morning what we will wear that day, even if it is just a hat or a black T-shirt. Fashion is not always spelled with a capital F. — Anton Corbijn 

Corbijns photos, with their strong contrast and special light as trademark, always manage to command your attention. Also because of his extraordinary compositions and creative way of photographing. He regards himself as a cross between a traditional portrait photographer and a documentary photographer out to record people in their own physical surroundings and social circumstances. He draws inspiration for the dramatic effects in his photographs from the unorthodox documentary work of photographers such as Ed van der Elsken, Robert Frank and Koen Wessing. Time and again, Corbijn manages to surprise and captivate the viewer with his unique perspective on people and musicians in particular. 
As visual director behind British band Depeche Mode and through his decades-long collaboration with Irish rock band U2 and American singer Tom Waits, among others, he has left a mark on how we see an important part of contemporary culture.  
Besides being a photographer, Corbijn has long been a well-known director who has received international recognition for his music videos and feature films. Corbijn is currently working on a new film called Switzerland, starring British actress Helen Mirren as Patricia Highsmith. 
Photography book: MOØDe 
The beautiful publication MOØDe in English contains almost 200 photographs from Corbijns exhibition of the same name and an essay by Karen Van Godtsenhoven, associate curator of The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The book is published by Hannibal Books and available for €64.90 at the Cobra Museums shop, among other places.


SUPREME new york 2017 ©anton corbijn

With thanks to  
The MOØDe exhibition came about in 2020  in cooperation with the municipality of Knokke-Heist and was made possible by our partners and generous supporters.

The Other Picasso. Back to the Origin

vrijdag 2 jun 2023 t/m zondag 8 okt 2023


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.

The Cobra Museum presents the exhibition The Other Picasso. Back to the Origin, highlighting a lesser-known part of the artist’s oeuvre. This exhibition pays tribute to Picasso and his cultural background, focusing on his love of dance and theatre, his childhood and his fascination with ceramics.

Choose a quiet moment and plan your visit from 3pm. Book your ticket online and get an 1 euro discount.
Pablo Picasso, Mains tenant un Poisson A.R.214, 1953, Collectie Serra, Mallorca, c/o Pictoright 2022

Almost a hundred artworks, including drawings, engravings and ceramic works, are presented from both public and private collections. It also highlights his contribution to ballet and literature. A unique opportunity to discover Picasso’s creative spirit.

Pablo Picasso, Visage de Femme I A.R.616, 13-03-1971, Collectie Serra, Mallorca, c/o Pictoright 2022

To do
Every Wednesday and Sunday, the CoBrA Atelier is open for everyone to get creative. There will also be a workshop with the drawing robot run by Wail Kherriazi, a student in the 2nd class of Keizer Karel College. The museum invites Naja Rasmussen for a lecture and table discussion on machismo in our times. She researched Picasso’s machismo and how he related to (his) women and ‘muses’. Rasmussen is chief curator at Kunstmuseum Brandts in Odense, Denmark.

To accompany the exhibition The Other Picasso. Back to the Origin will be accompanied by a multilingual and richly illustrated publication available for sale in the museum shop.

International collaboration
The exhibition The other Picasso. Back to the Origin is an international collaboration between the Cobra Museum of Modern Art in Amstelveen, Kunstmuseum Moritzburg in Halle (Germany), several Spanish institutes, C2C Proyectos Culturales in Malaga (Spain) and Expona.

Cobra 75: Freedom without Borders 

vrijdag 2 jun 2023 t/m zondag 8 okt 2023


The exhibition Freedom without Borders. From Appel to Basquiat is the highlight of the anniversary year in which we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the international Cobra movement (1948 – 1951)! A must-see for anyone interested in modern art and a unique opportunity to see these revolutionary and inspiring works up close.

Discover surprising combinations in this exhibition featuring 120 artworks by artists such as Klee, Picasso, Appel, Van Gogh, Constant, Miró, Ferlov, Beckmann, Alechinsky, Pollock, De Kooning, Basquiat, Corneille, Van der Gaag, Brown, Schwitters and Munch. And many other well-known and lesser-known artists. 

Choose a quiet moment and plan your visit from 3pm. Book your ticket prior to your visit and get a 1 euro discount.

Freedom without Borders shows Cobra art in relation to precursors, contemporaries and contemporary artists. Extraordinary, impressive and sometimes refined works of art show how the creative energy and freedom of the Cobra movement are still a source of inspiration for artists today. Placing the artworks next to or close to each other creates new connections and perspectives.

Zaaloverzicht | Gallery view Grenzeloos en vrij, foto: Peter Tijhuis

Cobra artists such as Appel, Constant, Alechinsky, Corneille, Jorn, Götz and Van der Gaag, are shown alongside precursors such as Van Gogh, Picasso, Beckmann, Schwitters, Klee, Miró and Munch. Also on show are works by contemporaries such as Pollock, Katzuo Shiraga, Dubuffet and Willem de Kooning, and successors such as Baselitz, A.R. Penck, Martha Jungwirth, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Tal R, Cecily Brown and Eva Räder.

Zaaloverzicht | Gallery view Grenzeloos en vrij, foto: Peter Tijhuis

The exhibition pays special attention to the work of a group of women artists, from Lotti van der Gaag, Ferdi, Jacqueline de Jong, Frieda Hunziker and Dora Tuynman to Judit Reigl, Cecily Brown and Tanja Ritterbex. Especially for those starting their practice in the 1950s and 1960s, opportunities to show their work were limited. In an art world dominated by male colleagues, it was not easy to break through as an artist or to be treated as an equal.

Zaaloverzicht | Gallery view Grenzeloos en vrij, foto: Peter Tijhuis

75 years of Cobra 
‘We wanted to start afresh, like a child.’ With this statement, artist Karel Appel articulated one of the main tenets of the international Cobra movement (1948-1951). After a time when all expression had been suppressed and in most cities the ruins of the Second World War had yet to be cleared away, freedom and vitality became key concepts for the Cobra artists.

Frieda Hunziker, Libelle, 1954, Cobra Museum voor Moderne Kunst Amstelveen c/o Pictoright 2023

Cobra was an international movement of young, progressive artists. In the years after the Second World War, they caused a revolution: a breakthrough in modern art and certain aspects of which still permeate art views and artistic expressions today. The movement was officially founded on 8 November 1948 in Paris. The name Cobra is a compound of: Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam. The capitals where the founders of this artist group came from. Jorn from Denmark, Dotremont and Noiret from Belgium, Appel, Corneille and Constant from the Netherlands. Later, more artists joined and together they completely changed tack.

Zaaloverzicht | Gallery view Grenzeloos en vrij, foto: Peter Tijhuis

Guest curator
The exhibition Freedom without Borders has been curated by guest curator Maarten Bertheux. He has made several exhibitions with Cobra artists and is familiar with the Cobra Museum’s collection. Bertheux was previously a curator at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

Richly illustrated catalogue 
A bilingual catalogue has been published especially for this special celebration in collaboration with Waanders Publishers. The book is available for €29.95 at the museum shop. The catalogue includes contributions by art critic and author Joke de Wolf, guest curator Maarten Bertheux and former Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam director Rudi Fuchs.

Summer at the Cobra Museum: podcast, Cobra treats! , evening opening
We have made a podcast (in Dutch) in which several art lovers, including Jeroen Krabbé, share anecdotes about their connection to Cobra art. During the Cobra treats! weekends (at the end of each month), we have special activities planned. One of these is a musical lecture (Dutch) by jazz musician Michael Varekamp on Sunday 27th of August, which will also highlight the important role jazz music played in the Cobra movement.


vrijdag 7 okt 2022 t/m zondag 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

Corneille 100

zondag 3 jul 2022 t/m zondag 15 jan 2023


Corneille’s 100th birthday will be celebrated from 3 July 2022 onwards in the Cobra Museum. He started his artistry searching, looking at other artists and inspired by nature and people around him.

During the reconstruction, Corneille and his fellow Cobra artists focused on liberating art. It was time for new subjects, new materials and a new way of painting. Corneille painted spontaneously and improvising in which drawn lines grew into shapes and figures. He created an optimistic utopian world inhabited by cheerful fantasy figures.

A trip to the Hoggar Mountains in North Africa is a new source of inspiration. Corneille translates the dry, cracked landscape into increasingly abstract canvases with round shapes and a powerful interplay of lines in earthy tones. Corneille would make many inspiring journeys, which translated to the canvas, but Africa will be a lasting source of inspiration for him.

At the end of the sixties, the narrative character returned to Corneille’s work. With a poetic visual language he placed figuration, such as woman, bird and celestial bodies in a paradisiacal, colorful world. Using screen printing techniques, he reached countless Dutch households in the eighties and nineties in the form of cups, pens, ties, but also by means of a modified hot-air balloon and tram. This commercialization was frowned upon by the art world. For the many spectators, however, the recognizable and colorful character of Corneille’s work often served as an introduction to the same art world.

Corneille, Fete, 1962, langdurige bruikleen particuliere collectie, c/o Pictoright 2022

Collected for Amstelveen – the municipal art collection

zaterdag 2 jul 2022 t/m zondag 25 sep 2022


The Cobra Museum of Modern Art and Museum JAN are showcasing the art treasures of the Municipality of Amstelveen in the exhibition Collected for Amstelveen – the municipal art collection. Over the past seventy years, the municipality has assembled a leading collection of visual arts. This versatile collection is now presented to the public for the first time and is free of charge for all residents of Amstelveen.

The municipal art collection
Around 1955, the town council of Amstelveen started to collect visual art, initially without a specific purchasing policy. The choice of particular works or artists depended heavily on the available budget and the administrators involved. The town council commissioned or bought directly from artists, galleries and the former exhibition centre Aemstelle. A lot of cutting-edge art has been collected in the past seventy years, which the Amstelveen museums are now eager to present.

Exhibition in the Cobra Museum of Modern Art
The Cobra Museum of Modern Art is showing a selection of works from the depots of the municipality of Amstelveen. Nationally as well as regionally acclaimed artists are represented in this selection: ranging from Eugène Brands to Jaap Egmond and from Melanie Bonajo to Gerard Schäperkötter. These commissioned, purchased and donated works of art – dating from the 1960s to the present – provide an insight into the municipal art policy.

The Cobra Museum also shows a contemporary reflection on the municipal art collection. Johannes Verwoerd Studio has created a digital depot by means of augmented reality in which you can see the artworks from the collection that are not on display.

Exhibition in Museum JAN
Museum JAN shows a selection from the so-called Topographic Atlas. From 1958 onwards, the town council commissioned artists to record the changing landscape in and around Amstelveen. This resulted in a collection of watercolours, drawings, photographs and some paintings. The exhibition in Museum JAN also features three new works by contemporary artists who responded to the Amstelveen landscape in a contemporary manner.

Humanity’s End as a New Beginning

zaterdag 19 mrt 2022 t/m zondag 19 jun 2022


From 20 March, the Cobra Museum will present the exhibition Humanity’s End as a New Beginning in collaboration with the Amstelveen publishing house Leporello. Thirty watercolours by Japanese-American artist Yuriko Fujita Yamaguchi, painted to accompany an extraordinary collection of myths from all over the world, are on display in the Voordrachtszaal. These old stories, compiled by professor emeritus Mineke Schipper from Amstelveen, each give their vision of what the end of the world might look like, but also of how this could lead to a new beginning.

Yuriko Fujita Yamaguchi, Oceania Punishment Rescue, 201

The end and a new beginning
The end of humanity has fascinated storytellers for thousands of years. Myths show us how people from different places and different times imagined how the world would come to an end. In her paintings, Yuriko Yamaguchi depicts the well-known story of the Deluge, but she also shows how, in a Hindu tale, a fire sets the whole earth ablaze, or how, in a Chinese Han myth, the sky collapses in a catastrophic event. Some stories remind us that humankind has been wiped out before and how life started all over again. In a Japanese myth, the gods actually manage to prevent our End.

Several works in the exhibition are inspired by the dreadful future that awaits us if we do not radically change our behaviour. In light of the alarming levels of pollution and global warming, but also with the current Covid pandemic in mind, Yuriko Yamaguchi’s works have an urgent message: save our fragile and unique planet. It is high time for a new beginning. Now.

Special collaboration
Visual artist Yuriko Yamaguchi and writer and professor emeritus of intercultural literature Mineke Schipper met in Italy at a residency for researchers and artists. There, they decided to join forces. The myths about the end of the world that Schipper collected inspired Yamaguchi to make thirty watercolours. Publisher Leporello has brought their work together in the book Humanity’s End as a New Beginning.

Yuriko Yamaguchi (Japan, 1948) is a painter and sculptor. Her work is exhibited in various museums and galleries in the US, Japan and Europe. She has also been commissioned to make works for public spaces, for example at Washington Dulles Airport.

Dr Mineke Schipper has published academic works, literary essays and novels. A few much-translated titles are Never Marry a Woman with Big Feet, Hills of Paradise, and Naked or Covered.

The special collaboration between Yamaguchi and Schipper already led to an exhibition in Japan in 2018. The work was also shown in the US and in the Dutch city of Leiden.