The Cobra artists were marked by the Second World War and were strongly attracted to the spontaneous creative process (also called psychic automatism) that was evoked from the subconscious. The Surrealists had long been concerned with making this subconscious visible. Many Cobra artists were mainly interested in the artist Joan Miró, who did not join the Surrealists, but according to André Breton was “the most surreal of us all”. The influence of Miró, who considered spontaneity important and made many sculptures from discarded materials, can be seen in a number of Cobra works, for example in Henry Heerups Kat med Fugl (1950).
The Cobra artists were also critical of Surrealism; for example, they had nothing to do with the narrative surrealism of artists such as Salvador Dalí and René Magritte. Constant and Asger Jorn, among others, wrote texts and manifestos in which they expressed their criticism of this form of surrealism. You will also encounter this countermovement in the exhibition.
The exhibition is displayed on the ground floor