320 pages | 25 Color Illus. | 39 B/W Illus.
This book examines the art of Cobra, a network of poets and artists from Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam (1948–51). Although the name stood for the organizers’ home cities, the Cobra artists hailed from countries in Europe, Africa, and the United States.
This book investigates how a group of struggling young artists attempted to reinvent the international avant-garde after the devastation of World War II, to create artistic experiments capable of facing the challenges of postwar society. It explores how Cobra’s experimental, often collective art works and publications relate to broader debates in postwar Europe about the use of images to commemorate violent events, the possibility of free expression in an art world constrained by Cold War politics, the breakdown of primitivism in an era of colonial independence, and the importance of spontaneity in a society increasingly dominated by the mass media.
This book will be of interest to scholars in art history, twentieth century modern art, avant-garde arts, and European history.
Introduction: Reanimating Art; 1. Human Animals; 2. Surrealism Into Cobra; 3. War, Memory, and Renewal; 4. Expression for All; 5. Coda: New Networks
Routledge Research in Art History is our home for the latest scholarship in the field of art history. The series publishes research monographs and edited collections, covering areas including art history, theory, and visual culture. These high-level books focus on art and artists from around the world and from a multitude of time periods. By making these studies available to the worldwide academic community, the series aims to promote quality art history research.