December 14th, 2007 – by: sarahelaine
Friday was the day I had decided to go to CoBRA. I was late - a bit of a staying in bed too long incident - but I thought, well, it can't be too far away. The website said a short distance from the city centre. No bother.
The website was lying. It is not a short distance, it is as far away as you can go and still be on a tram. I went through the city centre, past the museums, past a bit that looks like Bronxville and through a bit htat looks like Basildon, and through something that was beginning to look like a bit of a scary place. Then the tram went out past Amstel, then it passed Amsterdam Zuid, and Schippol... I was beginning to wonder if CoBRA was another little joke between the Dutch and the rest of the world.
How far could it be? The tram clanged its way to the very end of the line, and the driver announced the museum stop. I got off the tram, and then looked around Amstelveen.
Amstelveen is a shopping mall. I thought, yep. This is definately a marketing ploy. All the signs point straight at the mall. This is definately not real. But I followed the signs.
At last! There it was - a strange fountain - and a large museum. I was wrong. it wasn't all a ploy to get you in the mall. Great looking mall though.
The museum itself was modern and glassy. I was almost the only person in the place - me, two other people, and some tumbleweed drifting between the installations.
But it was out of the wind and one doesn't go to museums for the banging crowds. There were two exhibitions on - the CoBRA one, which is permanent, and the Chinese Contemporary Art one. Goed Zo, chinese art first. This turned out to be a good choice. I had seen an exhibition of chinese contemporary art before, but it was more traditional in style. This was far more contemporary in media terms- video installations and sculpture as well as paintings. I have a scrap of paper with the names of the artists I liked on it, in the bottom of my pocket somewhere, and as soon as I find it I'll update. The permanent CoBRA stuff didn't affect me emotionally in the same way. Apparently the fairly tale monsters and bright colours were a reaction to both the horrors of the war and the rigidity of DeStijl art - a bit like if someone grew up listening to the White Stripes and decided that the correct response was to get loads of your mates together and play twinkle twinkle little star on a full orchestra with kazoo section. So I was glad I went, but wouldn't recommend it for the permanent collection alone. So I went home to get some dinner with Ilka, Eva and their friend Michaela.
Amstelveen Sights & Attractions review
CoBRA is dedicated to the European post war art movement of the same name, based in Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Brussels. The permanent collection inclu… read entire review