Cobra Museum voor moderne kunst, Museum of modern art


current exhibitions



17 January-19 April 2015

This exhibition tells the story of the renowned Amsterdam gallery, Collection d’art, which from 1969 to 2004 was home to a broad range of art lovers. With Collection d’art, founder Cora de Vries made people who were known or unknown, friends or passersby, students and critics all part of contemporary developments in art, from realism to inspired geometry and post-war Expressionism, from Co Westerik to Markus Lupertz, from Armando to Karel Appel. As a result, a loyal group of regular visitors and buyers, including several museum directors, quickly formed around Collection d’art. The gallery was a place where fellow art lovers came together in their shared interest and love for contemporary art.

Together with Miente Boellaard-Stheeman, the Cobra Museum presents an exhibition of selected works from the personal collection of Cora and Hans de Vries, with works by Constant, de Kooning, JCJ van der Heijden, Baselitz, Schoonhoven, Armando, Appel, Bogart and many more.



8 February - 1 June 2015

This completely new presentation of works from the collection of the Cobra Museum also includes space for contemporary art that bears a clear reference to the themes of the CoBrA movement. The film, Golden Goose (2012), by Margot Onnes (b. 1983), is based on old folk tales and reflects the theme of fables and fairy tales, which was such an important source for the CoBrA artists. Few figures reach back so far and so consistently as that of the Golden Goose. In Aesop's Fables, from the 6th century B.C., a goose lays golden eggs, but eventually dies because of its owner's greed. Danish legends refer to a princess who was changed by a curse into a Golden Goose. Every night, she wanders at sea, in amongst the fishing boats. The most famous of all the golden geese is in the story by the Brothers Grimm, in which a farmer's son receives a Golden Goose, but everyone who crosses its path literally remains stuck to it.

Golden Goose, by artist Margo Onnes, shows successive spaces in which the echoes of long-gone stories continue to reverberate. The narrators, in fact, seem to have lost their way. All of them are obsessed with finding the object of their desires: the Golden Goose. Golden Goose was filmed in the impressive Eekenhof building, in the Roombeek neighbourhood of Enschede.

Margo Onnes (b. 1983) studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague and the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam. Her films and large-scale video installations investigate the structures of storytelling. Margo Onnes lives and works in Rotterdam.

Text and editing: Margo Onnes
With: Elisa King, Gregor-Jan Nottrot, Gerda Havertong, Andre Heuvelman, Saki Matsuura, Jan Braem and Wigbolt Kruijver Director of Photography: Nanko Goeting
Sound design: Henk-Jelle de Groot
Music: Andre Heuvelman



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

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