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1947″, Constant, 2003

This is the first exhibition in Ireland on this international group of radical artists and writers from Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam, who come together under the name COBRA. The exhibition consists of approximately 80 paintings and works on paper relating to the COBRA years and is broadly chronological in its selection and layout. Most of the works are by key artists associated with the group, including Pierre Alechinsky, Karel Appel, Constant, Asger Jorn and Carl-Henning Pedersen. The core of the exhibition comprises paintings shown in the COBRA exhibitions held in Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen and Paris between 1948 and 1951. Proclaiming a visual language based on experimentation and collaboration, this loosely-knit group of artists proposed a highly-charged alternative to the mainstream in post-war Europe. Explosively expressive, with an emphasis on myth and primitive forms of imagery associated with the art of children and the mentally ill, they produced imagery teeming with fantastic creatures and exuding intense emotions – rage, joy and humour. The exhibition conveys the energy and subversive power of this influential movement, its experimental and provocative spirit, and its attempts at forging a new visual language in a climate of post war austerity and hope.

This National Touring Exhibition is organised by the Hayward Gallery, London, in collaboration with BALTIC – the Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead. It has been selected by the British-based COBRA specialist, Peter Shield, with Roger Malbert, Senior Curator, Hayward Gallery, and Sune Nordgren, Director, BALTIC.



A full-colour catalogue with an essay by Peter Shield accompanies the exhibition
(Price €25.00).

The exhibition is presented in association with T H E  I R I S H   T I M E S.