Van CoBrA naar New Babylon
2016
  • Constant. Space + Colour shows the experimental route Constant followed between his Cobra period and the New Babylon project in the 1950s.
  • Large-scale architectural constructions created in collaboration with Gerrit Rietveld and Aldo van Eyck, among others.
  • Exhibition design by Ben van Berkel (UNStudio).

The weekend of 28/29 May 2016 will be marked by the opening of two major Constant exhibitions in the Netherlands. Constant. Space + Colour will be presented at the Cobra Museum of Modern Art, Amstelveen, while the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag will be showing Constant - New Babylon.

From Cobra to New Babylon
In the early 50s, Constant sought out new pathways along which art could contribute to the reconstruction of postwar Europe. He envisioned an art that was at once "lyrical in its means and social in its very nature" (1956). Until now, this period of Constant’s artistic development has been underexposed in museum exhibitions, despite the fact that during these years a radical change took place. Constant. Space + Colour at the Cobra Museum of Modern Art reveals this crucial period. The exhibition is curated by Ludo van Halem (Curator of 20th Century Art, Rijksmuseum), Trudy van der Horst (Board member and Head of Research, Constant Foundation) and Katja Weitering (Artistic Director, Cobra Museum).

Ben van Berkel
Ben van Berkel's world-renowned architectural design studio UNStudio designed the exhibition. Van Berkel is a great admirer of Constant’s work and his artistic ideas. The exhibition design presents visitors with a labyrinthine experience, so characteristic for Constant, in which surprising spaces and sight lines, and unexpected connections contribute to a contemporary interpretation of Constant's work.

Collaborations with Gerrit Rietveld, Aldo van Eyck, Hy Hirsch and many others
In the 50s, Constant explored new spheres of activity and media. He also attempted to redefine his position as artist by regularly making alliances with other artists and designers at home and abroad. Artistic views were exchanged, insights shared and mutual influences assimilated, which will be manifest in the exhibition. One example is the collaboration with Gerrit Rietveld in the form of a model interior designed for the manifestation Colour Harmony in your Home in the Bijenkorf department store in Amsterdam in 1954. Earlier, working with Aldo van Eyck, Constant contributed to the so-called ‘a space in colour’ developed for the Humans and Home exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in 1952. Both influential projects have been reconstructed for this exhibition so visitors can physically experience Constant’s, Van Eyck’s and Rietveld's principles of the 1950s.

Two major Constant exhibitions
This summer, the visual artist Constant stands in the spotlight with two exhibitions, organised in close collaboration with Fondation Constant, in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and the Cobra Museum for Modern Art, Amstelveen. Recent years have seen an enormous international revival with a major exhibition featuring Constant’s long-term project New Babylon in the Reina Sofía in Madrid and a solo-exhibition at Art Basel 2015. Hence the Gemeentemuseum and Cobra Museum are collaborating in inviting the Dutch public to rediscover his work with two major parallel exhibitions that emphasize this artist's multifaceted character. New Babylon is the centre of attention at the Gemeentemuseum, while the Cobra Museum focuses on the road to New Babylon.

At the museum you will receive a discountvoucher for the other exhibition

    Date

    28 May 2016 - 25 September 2016

    Location (museum)

    Cobra Museum voor Moderne Kunst

    Location (city, country)

    Amstelveen, Netherlands

    Curator

    Ludo van Halem | Trudy NIeuwenhuys
    Title Year
    L'incendie [II] 1987
    Don Juan in het labyrinth 1966
    Adieu la P. 1962
    La fleur mécanique 1959
    Spatiovore [IV] 1959
    Lijn zonder einde 1958
    Structuren in de ruimte 1958
    Construction dans un volume 1957
    Eivormige constructie [II] 1957
    Compositie met driehoek 1956
    De lansen 1956
    Design for Curtain Cloth 1956
    Kosmisch landschapje 1956
    La ville noyée 1956
    Observatorium [II] 1956
    Ronde vorm 1956
    Stofontwerp h 1956
    The Blue Triangle 1956
    Wandrekje Delft 1956
    Wandrekje Utrecht 1956
    Gordijnstof, ca 1955 1955
    Bijzet tafel IJhorst-medium 1954
    Constructie met doorzichtige vlakken 1954
    Constructie met gekleurde vlakken 1954
    IJhorst tafeltje 1954
    Kleurenharmonie in uw woning 1954
    Wandrekje-ZT 1954
    Adelaar 1953
    Bijzettafel IJhorst-klein 1953
    Collage met kleurvlakken 1953
    Colombe bleue 1953
    Compositie in zwart en wit 1953
    Compositie met blauwe lijnen 1953
    Compositie met oranje driehoek 1953
    Compositie met vierkanten [I] 1953
    Twee figuren op blauw fond 1953
    Variations rhytmique 1953
    VOOR EEN SPATIAAL COLORISME, pag 02 1953
    ZT/Compositie blauw bruin 1953
    ZT/Compositie met gebogen vlakken 1953
    ZT/Compositie met zwarte figuur 1953
    Compositie 1952
    Compositie 1952
    De hand 1952
    De stier 1952
    De vlam 1952
    Gele cactus 1952
    HET UITZICHT VAN DE DUIF 01 1952
    HET UITZICHT VAN DE DUIF 01a 1952
    HET UITZICHT VAN DE DUIF 02 1952
    HET UITZICHT VAN DE DUIF 03 1952
    HET UITZICHT VAN DE DUIF 04 1952
    HET UITZICHT VAN DE DUIF 05 1952
    HET UITZICHT VAN DE DUIF 06 1952
    HET UITZICHT VAN DE DUIF 07 1952
    HET UITZICHT VAN DE DUIF 08 1952
    HET UITZICHT VAN DE DUIF 09 1952
    Kleurenplan 1952
    Landschap 1952
    ruimte in kleur 1952
    Vegetatie [II] 1952
    Vegetatie [I] 1952
    Witte piek 1952
    ZT/Compositie blauw rood oranje 1952
    8 x LA GUERRE 1 1951
    8 x LA GUERRE 2 1951
    8 x LA GUERRE 3 1951
    8 x LA GUERRE 4 1951
    8 x LA GUERRE 5 1951
    8 x LA GUERRE 6 1951
    8 x LA GUERRE 7 1951
    8 x LA GUERRE 8 1951
    De duif 1951
    De oorlog [II] 1951
    L'imagination effrayante 1 1951
    L'imagination effrayante 2-Brisant bommen 1951
    L'imagination effrayante 3 1951
    L'imagination effrayante 4-Slagveld 1951
    L'imagination effrayante 5 1951
    Moeder en kind [II] 1951
    Oorlog 1951
    ZT/Oorlog 1951
    Cycliste tombé 1950
    Gevallen paard 1950
    L'incendie 1950
    La guerre [II] 1950
    Animaux 1949
    Moment érotique 1949
    Zondebok 1949
    Title Year
    Constant 1945-1983 1986