In the early 1980s Constant stated that if there was such a thing as a Cobra style, it was to be found in the joint works, as Dotremont had been stressing. They both still disagreed with Stokvis at that time. In 1988, Graham Birtwistel emphasised the enormous importance of the oppositional dynamics within the Cobra group in an art-historical journal, just as the Danish art historian Troels Andersen had already done in 1961. What made Cobra so important and unique was the vitality that resulted from these dynamics. From an art historical point of view, too little importance would have been attributed to the contradictions within the group and to the theoretical side, and too much to the material side of paint and canvas.
Now, 70 years after the start of the movement, we can conclude that Cobra was a many-headed snake with multiple voices. This has resulted in divergent, sometimes diametrically opposed perspectives on Cobra, also in historiography. Some voices have been heard more than others. The most important ones are given the stage in this exhibition.