Miro & Cobra
The Joy of Experiment
- With over 80 works by Joan Miró, this is the first major exhibition of his work in the Netherlands in 59 years - the previous one was in the Stedelijk Museum in 1956.
- “This will be one of the most exciting Miró exhibitions in a long time!”
Joan Punyet Miró, Joan Miró’s grandson and Director of Successió Miró
Miró & CoBrA: The Joy of Experiment
Miró & CoBrA. The Joy of Experiment is the first exhibition to explore the relationship between Joan Miró (1893-1983) and CoBrA (1948-1951). A chance encounter in 1946 between Asger Jorn, a Dane, and Dutch artist Constant Nieuwenhuys laid the foundations for CoBrA, an international group of post-war artists. The two met at an exhibition of work by Miró in the Galerie Pierre Loeb, in Paris, and established Miró as a recurrent element in the movement’s history.
What links Joan Miró and the Cobra artists is their playful, experimental approach to art. Experimentation with materials, shapes and processes was a source of knowledge and innovation for both the Spanish master and the Cobra artists of the post-war generation. By bringing the work of Miró and CoBrA together, this exhibition gives insight into a shared sense of playfulness and poetic attitude which are at the heart of the work of both.
Katja Weitering, artistic director:
“Miró & CoBrA is the long-awaited exhibition of one of the best-loved and exceptional 20th-century artists. This show is emphatically not a classic retrospective. By establishing a link with the Cobra movement and the museum’s own collection, Miró & CoBrA sheds new light on the Spanish master.”
In his late period, Miró’s artistic development saw a liberation from form, gesture and material which showed a striking correspondence with the work and artistic perceptions of various CoBrA members. This work is less familiar to general audiences – and on show now in the Netherlands for the very first time. This exhibition illuminates a wide range of experimental techniques which include, besides painting, works on paper, ceramics, sculpture, assemblages, visual poetry and artists’ journals.
This summer Miró’s sculptures will be exhibited in the gardens of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. There has been no extensive Miró retrospective in the Netherlands for nearly 60 years, since the Stedelijk Museum’s exhibition in 1956. Now, in 2015, the Cobra Museum has succeeded in collating a substantial Miró exhibition which includes works from the Netherlands and abroad, thanks in part to assistance from many international partners. For example, New York’s Guggenheim Museum has generously provided Paysage (1927), while the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art has sent the major work Figures and Bird (1934-1936) and the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid has provided five works from the period from 1945-1950.
The exhibition includes more than 80 works by Joan Miró and 60 works by various Cobra artists including Karel Appel, Asger Jorn, Constant and Pierre Alechinsky. A central part of the exhibition is the reconstruction of Miró’s Mallorca studio, consisting of more than 40 original objects and shown for the first time on such a large scale. This part of the exhibition has been made possible thanks to a collaboration with the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró a Mallorca.
Funds and Partners
The Cobra Museum of Modern Art is supported by the Municipality of Amstelveen and BankGiro Lotterij. Moreover, the exhibition Miró & Cobra is supported by Fonds 21, VSB Fonds, Mondriaan Fonds, Blockbusterfonds en Zabawas.