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Cobra Movement Presented at Blum & Poe – The Avant-Garde Won’t Give Up: Cobra and Its Legacy

  • cobra movement
August 25, 2015

Blum & Poe is organizing a spectacular show – a two-part exhibition taking place in New York and Los Angeles which will offer a broad and critical reassessment of the famous Cobra movement. Dozens of amazing artists are linked with this essential postwar European art movement that had influenced a number of other artistic movements and styles from 1950s. Cobra movement was not only an art movement; it was also a political group of artists who were critical towards Western aesthetics, and who embraced collaborative work methods. Interested in Marxism (Cobra movement was sometimes called Red International), artists that were part of the Cobra had significantly influenced aesthetical and conceptual developments in the Postwar art. During the The Avant-Garde Won’t Give Up: Cobra and Its Legacy exhibition at Blum & Poe, visitors will be able to see some of the masterpieces by artists of the Cobra movement.

cobra movement
Left: (c) Frits Lemaire Maria Austria Instituut / Right: Right: Corneille – Fable païenne, 1949 [Pagan Fable], detail. Oil on canvas. 31 1/2 x 27 3/8 inches. Collection Cobra Museum of Modern Art, Amstelveen. Purchased with the support of de BankGiro Loterij and the Municipality of Amstelveen. © 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris Courtesy of Blum & Poe

Cobra Movement

Cobra movement is often linked to the Northern European painting style; to merging figuration and abstraction. Its style and approach are usually perceived as a consequence of the traumatic experiences from the World War II. The whole movement is named after three home cities: Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam. Although it was formed by Karel Appel, Constant, Corneille, Christian Dotremont, Asger Jorn, and Joseph Noiret (in the Café Notre-Dame, Paris, in 1948), it is usually Danish artist Asger Jorn who is perceived as an official founder of the group. One of the characteristics of the Cobra movement was an interest in an exploration of ancient folk art, populist art forms, and the legacy of Surrealism. All of these interests Cobra inherited from the artist collective called Helhesten, which Jorn founded in 1941 in Nazi-occupied Denmark. Often perceived as the last avant-garde movement, Cobra was crucial in the development of the European abstract expressionism.

cobra movement
Left: Photograph of Eugène Brands,. © Frits Lemaire / Maria Austria Instituut. Photographof Eugène Brands, 1947 // Right: Photograph of Eugène Brands, 1947. Courtesy of Blum & Poe. © Frits Lemaire / Maria Austria Instituut Photo: Frits Lemaire

Cobra and Its Legacy

The Avant-Garde Won’t Give Up: Cobra and Its Legacy, as a two-part exhibition will cover all major works by the members of the Cobra movement. The exhibition will begin in New York, with a re-examination of the artist collective Helhesten. Among artists in the New York exhibition are Pierre Alechinsky, Else Alfelt, Karel Appel, Eugène Brands, Constant, Corneille, Christian Dotremont, Sonja Ferlov Mancoba, Henry Heerup, Egill Jacobsen, Asger Jorn, Ernest Mancoba, Carl-Henning Pedersen, Shinkichi Tajiri, and Raoul Ubac. The second part of the exhibition will take place in Los Angeles, and it will present the works by the core Cobra group from the New York exhibition as well as works by Enrico Baj, Corneille, Mark Flood, Magdalena Suarez Frimkess, Gelatin, Mark Grotjahn, Jacqueline de Jong, Friedrich Kunath, Eddie Martinez, Bjarne Melgaard, Jon Pylypchuk, Reinhoud, Julian Schnabel, Walasse Ting, and others.

cobra movement
Left: Asger Jorn, L’avant-garde se rend pas, 1962. © 2015 Donation Jorn, Silkeborg / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY / billedkunst.dk/ / Right: Corneille – Fable païenne, 1949 [Pagan Fable]. Oil on canvas. 31 1/2 x 27 3/8 inches. Collection Cobra Museum of Modern Art, Amstelveen. Purchased with the support of de BankGiro Loterij and the Municipality of Amstelveen. © 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Courtesy of Blum & Poe

The Avant-Garde Won’t Give Up

The Avant-Garde Won’t Give Up: Cobra and Its Legacy show at Blum & Poe will be a unique opportunity for art lovers to see all the masterpieces of the Cobra movement at one place. The exhibition will offer a broad and critical reassessment of Cobra, one of the most important art movements in contemporary art. The first part of the exhibition will be on view from September 9 until October 17, 2015, at Blum & Poe in New York. The second part of the exhibition will be on view from November 5 until December 23, 2015 at Blum & Poe in Los Angeles.

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Featured Image: (c) Frits Lemaire  Maria Austria Instituut, detail

All Images courtesy of Blum & Poe.