The CoBrA movement, led by artists Karel Appel, Christian Dotremont and Asger Jorn, among others, was active from 1948 to 1951. The movement, whose name is an acronym of the initials of the artists’ home cities (Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam), came together under the principle of complete freedom of color and form.
Titled “Cobra -- 1,000 Days of Free Art,” the SSM exhibition is part of a series of cultural events marking the 400th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Turkey and the Netherlands, and features a selection over 60 works by CoBrA artists on loan from the Cobra Museum of Modern Art in Amstelveen and the private collection of the Netherlands’ ABN AMRO Bank.
All of the pieces in the selection are being shown in Turkey for the first time, the SSM announced in a press release issued last week. Appel’s renowned “Femme, Enfants, Animaux,” as well as works by Eugène Brands, Constant, Corneille and Jorn are among the pieces exhibited in the show.
SSM Director Nazan Ölçer, in her description of the exhibition, stated that CoBrA, along with Fluxus, was one of the important art movements of the second half of the 20th century, adding, “[The movement] led to the creation of colorful, spontaneous and timeless works that reflected the post-war renewal of hope and zest for life.”
“The CoBrA artists’ ... goal was to bring a note of optimism to a world numbed by the pitiless memories of wartime, to bring color and joy into the gloom of Europe’s art world,” Ölçer said. “This exhibition ... promises lovers of the arts an experience that will enliven their child-like emotions and trigger their creativity,” she added.
“Cobra -- 1,000 Days of Free Art,” runs until Sept. 16 at the SSM, located in Emirgan.