Exhibition: Cobra – 1000 Days of Free Art
28 June 2012
Sakıp Sabancı Museum is hosting a wide selection of the most prominent works of the Cobra movement that shaped the art environment of the second half of the twentieth century in the exhibition Cobra – 1000 Days of Free Art, open to visitors on June 29th. Named for the initials of the members’ home cities of Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam, this avant-garde movement was active from 1948 to 1951; the current show features over 60 works by Cobra artists. Organized within the framework of the celebration of the 400th year of diplomatic relations between the Netherlands and Turkey, these works from the Cobra Museum of Modern Art and the private collection of ABN AMRO Bank are being exhibited in Turkey for the first time. The selection of works includes paintings, sculpture, textiles, ceramics, works on paper, works inspired by jazz music and items of a documentary nature.
Among the works by the leading members of the Cobra movement is Karl Appel’s renowned “Femme, Enfants, Animaux”, as well as works by “Kobra: - Özgür Sanatın 1000 Günü”, ilkel sanat formları, Batılı olmayan folklorik öğeler ve Doğu’nun gelenekleriyle mistisizminden esinlenenEugène Brands, Constant, Corneille and Asger Jorn. This exhibition being presented to friends of the arts in our country for the first time has been realized with the support of ABN AMRO Bank, De Meeuw Group / ABC Prefabrik, Gözde Private Equity Investment Company, İpragaz, Merck Serono, TMF Group and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
SSM Director Dr. Nazan Ölçer, in her description of the exhibition, states: “The activities related to the celebration of the 400th year of diplomatic relations between Turkey and the Netherlands continue with the exhibition of the works of the Cobra movement, which, along with Fluxus, is accepted as one of the important art movements of the second half of the twentieth century. The Cobra movement was founded after the Second World War by a group of young avant-garde artists whose goal was a free new art form. During its short life it united many prominent artists, and led to the creation of colorful, spontaneous, inviting and timeless works that reflected the post-war renewal of hope and zest for life. The Cobra artists sometimes searched for innocence of expression in the folk art of their own countries, and sometimes searched for it in faraway lands of the East and West. Their goal was to bring a note of optimism to a world numbed by the pitiless memories of wartime, to bring color and joy into the gloom of Europe’s art world. I offer my thanks to the sponsors who have given their support to our collaboration with the Cobra Museum of Modern Art in Amstelveen for making it possible to offer the extremely powerful visual representation afforded by this exhibition. The Cobra exhibition will offer a cultural feast to both Istanbul natives and tourists visiting the city throughout the summer. The exhibition promises lovers of the arts an experience that will enliven their child-like emotions and trigger their creativity.”
Visitors to the exhibition will also enjoy a voyage through the years 1930-1960 in which social and historical developments in Europe and in Turkey are related in a parallel construct. The black-and-white documentary consisting of images of historical importance will give visitors an idea of what was going on in the world at the time that the Cobra movement began. “Cobra – 1000 Days of Free Art” will continue until September 16, and will be accompanied by educational programs for children.