75 years of the CoBrA movement on display

10 August 2023 - 10 September 2023

De Zutter Art Gallery in Knokke (West Flanders) is marking the 75th anniversary of the CoBrA art movement with a special exhibition.

When they hear the word ‘cobra’, some people think of a scary snake, while others think of a cross-border art movement whose name is an acronym for Copenhagen, Amsterdam and – smack in the middle – our humble Brussels. 

The avant-garde artists of the CoBrA movement envisioned a world in which art would be created not only for everyone but also by everyone, dominated by experiment and spontaneity. They wanted to free themselves from the constraints of Western art. 

It was the Belgian artist Christian Dotremont that made this known to the world when he penned the pamphlet, La cause était entendue. Dotremont, too, is said to have come up with the name for the movement, which combined the capitals of the countries involved in this new endeavour. 

While the movement itself was short-lived (from the end of 1948 to 1951), the legacy lives on, and so does the art. What better occasion than the 75th anniversary of the creation of CoBrA to launch a dedicated exhibition?  

Art lovers and other interested parties can head to the gallery’s website to paint a clearer picture of the practical details. 

The movement’s most famous Belgians are perhaps Pierre Alechinsky and Dotremont. However, Pol Bury, Jacques Calonne, Hugo Claus, Jean Raine and Serge Vandercam have also been associated with CoBrA.