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Definition: Cobra from Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase and Fable

A group of expressionist painters formed in Paris in 1948 by various Dutch and Scandinavian artists. Leading figures among the founders were the Dutchman Karel Appel (b.1921), the Belgian Corneille (full name Corneille Beverloo) (b.1922) and the Dane Asger Jorn (1914-73). They aimed to give free expression to the unconscious, unimpeded and undirected by the intellect, and set store by spontaneous gesture. Their name derives from the first letters of the capital cities of the three countries of the artists involved: Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam.


Summary Article: Cobra from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Group of European expressionist painters formed by the Dutch artist Karel Appel in 1948. Other leading members were the Dane Asger Jorn and the Belgian-born painters Corneille (1922–2010) and Pierre Alechinsky (1927– ). Strongly influenced by the art of both children and the insane, the group developed an expressive and dynamic form of abstract painting, using thick, heavily worked paint and strong colours.

The name of the group was coined by Belgian painter and Cobra founder member Christian Dotremont (1922–1979) as an amalgam of abbreviations of the painters' cities: Co for Copenhagen, Br for Brussels, and A for Amsterdam. The Cobra Museum, established in Amstelveen, Netherlands, in 1995, is devoted to artists from this group.

© RM, 2016. All rights reserved.

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