In the wake of World War II, artists from various countries in Europe who shared an aversion to the bourgeois and traditional character of prewar culture, committed themselves to creating a new international art. They initiated the art movement Cobra, an acronym for their home cities of Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam. Rejecting the Western ideal of the solitary genius artist, they based their creative efforts on experimentation and collaboration. Between 1948 and 1951, they worked as a collective, and subsequently independently, in their struggle to find immediate and spontaneous forms of expression.
NSU Art Museum houses the largest collection of Cobra art in an American museum, the generous gift of more than sixteen hundred works from Dr. Meyer and Golda Marks, long-time residents of Miami Beach, Florida. Forty-two objects in the collection were carried out as collaborative efforts by one or more of the following Cobra artists working together; Karl Appel, Jean-Michel Atlan, Christian Dotremont, Constant, Corneille, and Mogens Balle. Cobra Collab will feature these paintings, prints, archival materials and books, as well as works created independently by each of these artists to shed light on the aesthetic, philosophic, and political underpinnings of the Cobra movement and its artists’ commitment to the idea and realization of a new and distinctively modern means of expression.