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The Colours of CoBrA: European art from 1948 – 1970s


Bait al Zubair has been busy this week working with the curator of the Cobra Museum for Modern Art from the Netherlands to install what can only be called a ground breaking exhibition of modern art in Oman. For the first time, highlights of the international Cobra art movement will be presented in Oman from 11 March to 7 May 2015 at Bait al Zubair.

Bait al Zubair in partnership with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands have been working with the Cobra Museum of Modern Art near Amsterdam for the past six months to develop an exhibition of vivid colour and curiosity that showcases one of the most dynamic European art movements of the twentieth century.

Cobra was founded in Paris (France) in 1948 and lasted until 1951. CoBrA is an acronym for the three capital cities where the artists lived and worked: Copenhagen (Denmark), Brussels (Belgium) and Amsterdam (the Netherlands). As their motto, they chose the ancient symbolism of the snake. The Cobra artists all strove to create a new, free and expressive art, rooted in experiment and the real experiences of life itself. Cobra wanted to liberate the artistic creativity that is hidden in every human being.

In the 1940s the then conservative press and viewers were by no means charmed by the richly imaginative and childlike spontaneity of the new Cobra art. They believed art should be classical and realistic. The Cobra art movement certainly challenged this.

Paul Doubleday Director of Bait al Zubair says; ‘The Colours of Cobra’ being exhibited in Bait al Zubair will kick start a new understanding of twentieth century art in the country allowing artists, the general public and school children alike to experience the vivid colours, the child like qualities and vibrant hues of Cobra.’

Today, more than 65 years after the founding of Cobra, this exciting movement has not lost any of its power or meaning. Cobra has been accepted into the canon of the history of 20th century art. The childlike, spontaneous styles and the theoretical thinking and philosophy of this group have had enormous significance for the development of modern and contemporary art in Europe and abroad.

Mr Doubleday also says; ‘The Colours of Cobra is only possible through the support of business in Oman. It is when buisiness and the arts collaborate we see amazing outcomes. The exhibition is open to all and we hope to have over 3000 visitors and 1000 school students visiting Cobra. The exhibition is sponsored by The Dutch Embassy, Omantel, Oman Arab Bank, MB Holding, Sohar Port Free Zone, C. Steinweg Oman LLC, Mobilift and Partners LLC and Air France/KLM.

The exhibition was ceremoniously opened on 10 March 2015 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Secretary General, His Excellency Sayyid Bader bin Hamad bin Hamoud Al Busaidi.


For a full photo-album of the event, please click here:



To find more information about Bait Al Zubair events & activities join them on Facebook www.facebook.com/bait.alzubair and Twitter and Instagram on: @Bait_AlZubair

For more information please contact Sara Ali at Bait al Zubair on sara.ali@baitalzubair.com



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