With the exhibition “Becoming CoBrA. Beginnings of a European Art Movement”, the Kunsthalle Mannheim takes a look at the origins of one of the most influential avant-garde groups in the 20th century, which date back to the 1930s. While the years from 1948 to 1951, during which CoBrA existed as a firmly defined group, have already been the subject of much discussion, the show focuses on the preceding, hitherto little-explored process of the artists’ collective’s emergence.
In the context of the exhibition, around 150 paintings, sculptures, graphics, photographs, textile works and ceramics by later members of the trans-European collective provide insights into the creative cosmos of CoBrA before it was founded. They show how, already in the context of the Second World War and the immediate post-war period, a new avant-garde was formed that stood for peace, international understanding and a redefinition of artistic modes of production.
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Image above: Constant, Fantastische dieren / Fantastic Animals / Fantastic Animals, 1947, Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg, Netherlands