Did you know…that the famous, albeit short-lived post-war northern European Expressionists art movement known as Cobra, founded in 1948, was originally called Reflex? The name was changed to Cobra before the group exhibited together. Cobra is an acronym for Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam, the cities from which its founders came. The most prominent member of the Cobra group was Dutch painter Karel Christian Appel (1921-2006). Others included Danish artist Asger Jorn and Belgian painter Corneille.
The Cobra movement was short-lived, its members exhibiting together in the early 1950s only. The underlying motif of the Cobra school was abstract, spontaneous, expressionistic, colourful, vital and almost childlike. Appel said of the movement in an interview in the reference work Contemporary Artists: “The Cobra group started new, and first of all we threw away all these things we had known and started afresh, like a child – fresh and new. Sometimes my works look very childish or childlike, schizophrenic or stupid, you know. But that was the good thing for me. Because, for me, the material is the paint itself. The paint expresses itself. In the mass of paint, I find my imagination and go on to paint it.”