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Vanaf 15 maart tot en met 31 maart is het Cobra Museum gesloten #corona #cobramuseum

Expected: postponed until further notice: Exhibition This is Surrealism!

The Cobra Museum presents:
This is Surrealism!
The Boijmans Masterpieces


  • More than 150 surrealistic masterpieces from the collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen presented at the Cobra Museum Amstelveen
  • Salvador Dali, René Magritte, Max Ernst, Miró, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Leonora Carrington, Paul Delvaux, Francis Picabia a.o.


Image: Salvador Dali, Mae West Lips Sofa, 1938
Collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen© Pictoright Amsterdam 2020

In 1934 André Breton, a leading figure of the surrealists, published Qu’est-ce que le surréalisme? (What is surrealism?). A historical edition, with the famous illustration by René Magritte and featured in this exhibition. Now, 86 years later, we proudly answer: This is Surrealism!

The exhibition offers a comprehensive overview of top surrealist artists, within nine principal themes, with key works by Salvador Dali, René Magritte, André Breton, Marcel Duchamp, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Max Ernst, Miró and many other artists. This will also be the first time that very recent acquisitions will be shown, such as the first original surrealist manifesto by André Breton from 1924, La femme 100 têtes by Max Ernst from 1929, and collages by Joseph Cornell from the 1930s, which were acquired at the last TEFAF Maastricht fair.

André Breton, Ou’est-ce que le surréalisme? 1934 met illustratie van René Magritte. Collectie Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen© Pictoright Amsterdam 2020

Surrealism in 193 pieces of Art and documents by 33 artist within 9 themes.

In 1916, a group of poets and artists in Zurich turned against academism and all common beliefs about culture. Their ideas are picked up at lightning speed by others and it is therefore not long before the Dadaists – as they call themselves – operate on an international scale. They make “anti-art” such as noise concerts and nonsense poems. Their views form the breeding ground from which surrealism originated in 1924. Many Dadaists later join the Paris surrealists around André Breton for a shorter or longer period.

In response to the atrocities caused by the First World War, the surrealists reject the ratio and everything that is common. Instead, they want to make art that is contrary, irrational and shocking. To achieve this, they come up with all sorts of games and techniques that stimulate chance and breathe new life into existing methods such as collage.

In surrealism, everyday objects are used to create unusual situations and René Magritte is a master of this. When Magritte arrived in Le Perreux-sur-Marne in Paris in September 1927, he was not immediately included in the local surrealist movement. Not only does his tailor-made suit and bowler hat deviate from what is common in those circles, he also does not use automatic techniques and does not portray dreams on his canvases. Instead, he begins to make paintings about the relationship between words and images. Since the surrealists create works of art that are inspired by their dreams or subconscious, surrealism does not result in a well-defined art-historical movement or style. This allows surrealistic artworks to take all forms and be figurative as well as abstract.

Unique collaboration

This is Surrealism! The Boijmans masterpieces opens at the Cobra Museum of Modern Art in Amstelveen on the first of May and is a unique collaboration between two Dutch museums to surprise art lovers from both home and abroad with over 150 surrealistic masterpieces this summer.

Visitors can come and see the exhibition This is Surrealism! The Boijmans Masterpieces seven days a week from 1 May to 30 August, so all throughout the summer. Better organised public transport will take you from the Museumplein in Amsterdam to the Cobra Museum in Amstelveen during this period within 25 minutes. You can take the red Conexxion buses from Museumplein, Leidseplein or Station Zuid, Schiphol or Station Arena. You can take tram 5 From Leidseplein, Museumplein or Olympiaplein in Amsterdam of take the bicycle! Take the direct short route which takes more or less a half hour or take the beautiful detour via the River Amstel or via the Amsterdam woods.


Boijmans in transit

Since May 2019, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam has been closed for major renovation and renewal. The museum is expected to open its doors again in 2026. While the museum is in transit, the public will not have to miss its world-famous art collection.

With one of the top three international art collections in the Netherlands (with more than 151,000 works), the museum has played a leading role in the Dutch art scene for 170 years. From Bosch, Rembrandt and Van Gogh to Dalí and Dutch Design, and from the Middle Ages to the present. The world-famous Rotterdam art collection travels the world during the transit years, meeting art lovers worldwide. But before ‘the surrealists’ start their tour, they can be seen in the Cobra Museum in Amstelveen this summer. It will also be the first time that such a large number of surrealist works of art from this collection will be shown in the Netherlands in one exhibition. It is the ideal opportunity for the Dutch museum audience to wave the collection off and for the international cultural tourists in Amsterdam to see this art at ‘only 15 minutes’ from the Museumplein.


Collectie Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen© Pictoright Amsterdam 2020

The exhibition This is Surrealism! The Boijmans Masterpieces starts on the first of May and ends on August 30. 

Het Cobra museum is open 7 days a week during this period from 11:00 tot 17:00

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