From April 5 to August 31 2014, the Cobra Museum of Modern Art in Amstelveen showcases a selections of works from the collection of the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The Cobra Museum in Amstelveen is a 30-minute bus ride away from Amsterdam.
From the Guggenheim Collection: International Abstraction 1949-1960 reflects the radical changes society and the world of art went through after the Second World War.
The Guggenheim Museum went through some spectacular changes as well, set off after James Johnson Sweeney was appointed director of the museum in 1952.
In 1959 the new building of the Guggenheim was built by Frank Lloyd Wright. The inaugural exhibition in 1959 was a world wide sensation.
Sweeney made way for ‘tastebreakers’: artists who shifted the artistic boundaries. Experimentation resulted in new and daring styles.
The Cobra Museum has 51 works by 44 artists from the mid-c20th century of abstract art. About 13 were on display at the famous inaugural exhibition in 1959. Paintings include Ocean Greyness, a painting by Jackson Pollock before his ‘dripping technique’ phase and work by Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning and Louise Bourgeois. Some are in fact paintings by Cobra members: Pierre Alechinsky, Karel Appel en Asger Jorn paintings returning ‘home’.
‘Cobra’ is the name of a group of artists from COpenhagen, BRussels and Amsterdam (hence the name) founded in 1948. Original members were Asger Jorn (Danish), Christian Dotremont from Belgium and the Dutch painters Karel Appel and Corneille. Their unity was short lived, lasting only until 1951.
Cobra rebelled against the academic rules and intellectual boundaries after World War II had shown ‘intellect’ can be harmful.
Creative expression and spontaneity and the anarchist ideals of Cobra led them to experiment with different materials and cooperation between painters, poets and sculptors.
Most famous Cobra artists form Holland are Karel Appel and Corneille.
Folk and primitive art
Cobra paintings are usually colourful, playful and bright. The simple and childlike portrayal of the world is influenced by folk and primitive art, myths, animals and child’s paintings are much portrait. Juan Miró was a big inspiration.
Cobra Museum of Modern Art is in Amstelveen is a 30-minute bike ride from Amsterdam. You can bike on the bike path along the old railroad and the Amsterdam Forrest. The museum is located next to the central busstation of Amstelveen, with lots of buses to and from Amsterdam.
The Cobra museum is open every day.