CoBrA: Hope After Destruction
Seventy years ago—in the aftermath of the unprecedented devastation of World War II—a group of artists and poets came together in a Parisian café with the intention of creating a movement that rejected European traditions in favor of something new, fresh, and spontaneous. They named themselves CoBrA, after the founders’ native cities: Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam. Their work was heavily influenced by the expressiveness and energy of children’s art. While CoBrA had no single unifying style, there was an emphasis on spontaneity, loose gesture, and strong colors. The movement lasted from its founding at the end of 1948 through 1951 and grew to 60 associated painters, sculptors, and poets.
This exhibition is drawn from the permanent collection and features sculpture, painting, and works on paper by four CoBrA artists: founding members Karel Appel and Cornelis Guillaume van Beverloo (known as Corneille), along with Pierre Alechinsky and Jean Lucebert—a poet as well as a painter—who both joined in 1949.
image: Corneille, La femme aux paupiéres peintes prēte ses formes rondes aux dures lames de l’herbe (The woman with painted eyelids lends her curved form to the hard blades of grass) from the series Enchantements de L’Ete, 1977, Lithograph on paper, Collection of the UK Art Museum, Gift of Mr. Herbert Podell
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