© Alechinsky, Cobra le bol, 1983, litho.
COBRA (or CoBrA) was a European avant-garde movement active from 1949 to 1952. The name was coined in 1948 by Christian Dotremont from the initials of the members' home cities: Copenhagen (Co), Brussels (Br), Amsterdam (A).
COBRA was formed from an amalgamation of the Dutch group Reflex, the Danish group Høst and the Belgian Revolutionary Surrealist Group. The group held two large exhibitions, one at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (1949) and the other at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Liège (1951). The primary focus of the group consisted of semiabstract paintings with brilliant color, violent brushwork, and distorted human figures inspired by primitive and folk art and similar to American action painting. Cobra was a milestone in the development of Tachisme and European abstract expressionism.
Pierre ALECHINSKY (Bruxelles, 1927), Karel APPEL (Amsterdam, 1921), Jean-Michel ATLAN (Constantine, 1913 – Paris, 1969), Mogens BALLE (Copenhague, 1921-1988), Pol Bury (Haine-Saint-Pierre, 1922), Jacques CALONNE (Mons, 1930), Hugo CLAUS (Bruges, 1929), CONSTANT (Constant Anton NIEUWENHUYS) (Amsterdam, 1920), CORNEILLE (Corneille Guillaume VAN BEVERLOO) (Liège, 1922), Jan COX (La Haye, 1919 – Anvers, 1980), Christian DOTREMONT (Tervuren, 1922 – 1979), Asger JORN (Asger JØRGENSEN) (Vejrum, 1914 – Aarhus, 1973 DK), Joseph NOIRET (Bruxelles, 1927), Michel OLYFF (Anvers, 1927), Carl-Henning PEDERSEN (Copenhague, 1913 – 1993), Jean RAINE (Jean GEENEN) (Schaerbeek, 1927 – Rochetaillée-sur-Saône, 1986), REINHOUD (Reinhoud D’HAESE) (Geraardsbergen, 1928), Willem SANDBERG (Amersfoort, 1897 – Amsterdam, 1984), Raoul Ubac (Malmédy, 1910 – Paris, 1985), Serge Vandercam (Copenhague, 1924)