Jennifer Tee - The Soul in Limbo

Publication The Soul in Limbo,
design Richard Niessen, 2015.

Jennifer Tee - Star Crossed

Jennifer Tee, Star Crossed, performance for the exhibition Nether Land, Shanghai Expo, China, 2010
© Photo by Peter Cox

Jennifer Tee - Star Crossed

Jennifer Tee, Shuudan Koudou (collective action), Ether Plane / Material Diagram series 4, plate 3, 50 x 84 cm

6th Cobra Art Prize Amstelveen goes to Jennifer Tee

The Soul in Limbo, Jennifer Tee's first museum solo exhibition in the Netherlands

Exhibition: The Soul in Limbo, 24 Novembre 2015 until 21 February 2016
The Soul in Limbo* is the first museum retrospective of Tee's work to be held in the Netherlands. Taking the themes of 'Language', 'Choreography' and ‘Occult Geometry’, the exhibition looks back on her work's development over the last 10 years and includes new pathways extending into the future. Elements from Tee's previous installations are grouped in each section and include banners, ceramic vases, spheres and masks, photography, sculpture, knitted floor pieces and diagrams. The exhibition also features material connected with her work processes and sources of inspiration.

The title of the exhibition is taken from the statement, “I am the soul in limbo”, made by Nadja, the central character in the eponymous novel by André Breton.

Jennifer Tee
In her work, Jennifer Tee investigates the changeability and complexity of constantly overlapping cultures. Her work is very diverse in form, from almost impossible to make ceramics to hand-knitted floorpieces from curved bamboo floating in fragile balance to complex performances. Collaboration with others such as artists, graphic designers, and choreographers play an important role. The surroundings in which a work is created is important too, both in term of material choices and the way the exhibition space is installed.

Written, spoken and sung language make up a recurring theme in much of Tee's work. The language-based performances in particular are a key part of her oeuvre. Tee's interest in written language has led to research into Egyptian hieroglyphs and Chinese calligraphy - both forms in which texts and symbols show an affinity with choreography. The performances have gone on to develop more and more into remarkably devised choreographies. Three of these performances and choreographies will be carried out during the exhibition, activating some of the works on display.

Cobra Art Prize Amstelveen
Jennifer Tee (NL 1973) is the winner of the 6th edition of the Cobra Art Prize Amstelveen. With this award The Cobra Museum of Modern Art and the Amstelveen Municipality aim to draw attention to the values of the Cobra movement - experimental, engaged and interdisciplinary - in relation to contemporary art. Headed by Saskia van Kampen, curator at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the jury remarked,
”Over many years Jennifer Tee has shown herself to be a unique multi-talent, who can throw herself into making a thought-provoking choreography with the same apparent ease as creating a huge hanging sculpture. And it is extraordinary how, no matter how multi-layered her work may be, it still remains accessible for a wide public. The jury was unanimous in its decision to award the 2015 Cobra Art Prize to the multi-disciplinary artist, Jennifer Tee.“
More information on the Cobra Art Prize here.

Exhibition: Jennifer Tee meets Cobra
Simultaneously with the exhibition in Amstelveen, there will be a show of works at the Kunstverein in Amsterdam chosen by Jennifer Tee and Maxime Kopsa (Kunstverein) from the Cobra Museum collection. Works by Pierre Alechinsky, Reinhoud, Eugène Brands and Frits Lemaire will be displayed along with a work by Tee.
27 November – 2 January 2016 More information here

Publication: The Soul in Limbo
The Soul in Limbo is a monograph compiled by Jennifer Tee in collaboration with Hilde de Bruijn. Some of the images have never before been published. Articles by Zoë Gray (Senior Curator, Wiels, Brussel), Maxine Kopsa (director, Kunstverein, Amsterdam) and Monica Szewczyk (co-curator, Documenta 14) interpret Tee's work. The Soul in Limbo was designed by Richard Niessen and published by Roma Publications.

The Exhibition and publication was made possible through support by de Council of Gemeente Amstelveen, Galerie Fons Welters, the Mondriaan Fund, the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, and the Tijl Fund. With special thanks to Zwaan Printmedia.


Credit. Joan Miró.
Le Gant Blanc 1925 Fundacio Joan Miró Barcelona,
Femmes et oiseaux II 1969 Successio Miró Palma de Mallorca
Untitled 1975/1978 Fundacion Joan Miró Palma de Mallorca
Femme se coiffant devant d'une glace 1938 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
All Miro ©Pictoright Amsterdam 2015

Joan Miró at ‘Son Boter’ studio, Palma de Mallorca 1973.
© Photo Francesc Catala-Roca

Miró & CoBrA. The Joy of Experiment

on show from 10 October 2015 to 31 January 2016.

  • With over 80 works by Joan Miró, this is the first major exhibition of his work in the Netherlands in 59 years - the previous one was in the Stedelijk Museum in 1956.
  • “This will be one of the most exciting Miró exhibitions in a long time!”
    Joan Punyet Miró, Joan Miró’s grandson and Director of Successió Miró

Miró & CoBrA: The Joy of Experiment
Miró & CoBrA. The Joy of Experiment is the first exhibition to explore the relationship between Joan Miró (1893-1983) and CoBrA (1948-1951). A chance encounter in 1946 between Asger Jorn, a Dane, and Dutch artist Constant Nieuwenhuys laid the foundations for CoBrA, an international group of post-war artists. The two met at an exhibition of work by Miró in the Galerie Pierre Loeb, in Paris, and established Miró as a recurrent element in the movement’s history.

What links Joan Miró and the Cobra artists is their playful, experimental approach to art. Experimentation with materials, shapes and processes was a source of knowledge and innovation for both the Spanish master and the Cobra artists of the post-war generation. By bringing the work of Miró and CoBrA together, this exhibition gives insight into a shared sense of playfulness and poetic attitude which are at the heart of the work of both.

Katja Weitering, artistic director:
“Miró & CoBrA is the long-awaited exhibition of one of the best-loved and exceptional 20th-century artists. This show is emphatically not a classic retrospective. By establishing a link with the Cobra movement and the museum’s own collection, Miró & CoBrA sheds new light on the Spanish master.”

In his late period, Miró’s artistic development saw a liberation from form, gesture and material which showed a striking correspondence with the work and artistic perceptions of various CoBrA members. This work is less familiar to general audiences – and on show now in the Netherlands for the very first time. This exhibition illuminates a wide range of experimental techniques which include, besides painting, works on paper, ceramics, sculpture, assemblages, visual poetry and artists’ journals.

This summer Miró’s sculptures will be exhibited in the gardens of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. There has been no extensive Miró retrospective in the Netherlands for nearly 60 years, since the Stedelijk Museum’s exhibition in 1956. Now, in 2015, the Cobra Museum has succeeded in collating a substantial Miró exhibition which includes works from the Netherlands and abroad, thanks in part to assistance from many international partners. For example, New York’s Guggenheim Museum has generously provided Paysage (1927), while the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art has sent the major work Figures and Bird (1934-1936) and the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid has provided five works from the period from 1945-1950.

The exhibition includes more than 80 works by Joan Miró and 60 works by various Cobra artists including Karel Appel, Asger Jorn, Constant and Pierre Alechinsky. A central part of the exhibition is the reconstruction of Miró’s Mallorca studio, consisting of more than 40 original objects and shown for the first time on such a large scale. This part of the exhibition has been made possible thanks to a collaboration with the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró a Mallorca.

Funds and Partners
The Cobra Museum of Modern Art is supported by the Municipality of Amstelveen and BankGiro Lotterij. Moreover, the exhibition Miró & Cobra is supported by Fonds 21, VSB Fonds, Mondriaan Fonds, Blockbusterfonds en Zabawas.



March 2015

The Danish artist duo, Bank & Rau, based in Copenhagen, have been invited by the Cobra Museum to create a contemporary presentation of the museum collection from the perspective of their own unique vision. The collection of the museum, the stories associated with it and the history of the Cobra movement, with associated archival material, are the building blocks with which Bank & Rau have set to work. They will further complement this with their own work, inspired by the Cobra collection and thereby creating a new, total installation in which they tell a story of Cobra in a completely new way.

In the artistic practice of Bank & Rau (Lone Bank & Tanja Rau), hand crafting and elements of folklore are consistent elements. By setting aside accepted tradition and everything we tend to take for granted (in a museum), Bank & Rau endeavour to create new forms for museum presentations.

The Open Collection Programme of the Cobra Museum is an investigation in practice, in which contemporary creators are invited to open up the Cobra Museum collection and contribute new impulses and perspectives. The Open Collection Programme has been made possible by the Mondriaan fund. The presentation by Bank & Rau is also supported by the Danish Arts Council, SVFK (Danish Art Workshop) and the SKF (Danish Art Foundation).



Works from the collection of the Cobra Museum of Modern Art

The CoBrA artists, many of whom had left-wing political leanings following the isolation and divisions inflicted by the war, wanted to create a new form of art that transcended national borders and could assume a central place in society. Cobra artists wanted to produce art that could be understood by everyone, that would speak directly to the individual. To achieve this, they sought to get as close as possible to the underlying core of what it meant to be human. They sought ‘authenticity’, and found something closer to that authenticity in the artistic expressions of children, folk culture and in non-Western societies. In practice, this meant experimenting with ‘a new, spontaneous painterly expression’. In this way, Cobra artists investigated the relationships between drawing, writing and painting. They strove to liberate colour from form. Some of the artists associated with Cobra, including Karel Appel and Asger Jorn, had specific periods when abstraction played a larger role in their work, but there were also artists associated with Cobra who had always leaned more strongly towards abstraction, such as Eugène Brands, Anton Rooskens, Theo Wolvecamp and the Danish artist, Erik Ortvad. It is this field of tension between figuration and abstraction that is central in this presentation with works from the collection of the Cobra Museum of Modern Art