Henry Heerup ~ CoBrA

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  • Henry Heerup ~ CoBrA
  • Henry Heerup ~ CoBrA alternative image
  • Henry Heerup ~ CoBrA alternative image

Exhibition Poster
For Cobra artist Henry Heerup (1907-1993)
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark
Printed J. Chr. Sørensen & Co. A/S
34 x 25 ins / 86 x 63 cms


Additional Information

Henry Heerup was born in Frederiksberg on 4th November 1907. He was a Danish Painter and Sculptor.

Initially, Heerup trained as a stonemason. Heerup then attended the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi) in Copenhagen (1927-1932), where he studied painting under Axel Jørgensen and Einar Nielsen and sculpture under Einar Utzon-Frank.

Henry Heerup married Emilie Westh in 1933. In 1949 he joined the avant-garde artist group, CoBrA and exhibited with them in Amsterdam (1949) and Liège (1951).

Herrup exhibited extensively. He first exhibited in 1933 at the Autumn Art Exhibition (Kunstnernes Efterårsudstilling), a juried exhibition held every year (since 1915) which is held in the Free Exhibition Building (Den Frie Udstillings) in Copenhagen. He exhibited with them regularly (1933-1940 and 1950-51).

Other noble exhibitions include - With 'Linen' ('The Line' - an artists association in Denmark in the 1930s and 1940s focusing on Abstraction and Symbolism) in 1934 and 1937, 'Young Danish and Swedish Art', Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo (1935), Venice Biennale (1936), 'Surrealism in the Nordic Countries', Skånska Konstmuseum, Lund (1937), Grønningen, Copenhagen (1937-39), Clausens Kunsthandel, Copenhagen (1956-59), Retrospective at Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo (1958)

Palazzo Grassi, Venice (1960), Movement in the Art (Bevægelse i Kunsten), Louisiana 1961, Retrospective at Lunds Konsthall (1964), Stockholm, 'Abstract ArtÂ’ travelling exhibition in USA (1964-65), São Paulo (1965), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, (1966), Florence (1970), Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm (1975) and 'The Danish', Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm (1984-85). A commemorative exhibition was held at Kastrupgård (Kastrupgaard Collection), Copenhagen in 1993.

Henry Heerup died in Copenhagen on 30th May 1993, aged 85



CoBrA was a European avant-garde artist group formed in 1948 by artists from Copenhagen (Co), Brussels (Br) and Amsterdam (A) whose painting style was highly expressionist and inspired by the art of children.

COBRA was formed by Karel Appel, Constant Nieuwenhuys, Cornelis Guillaume van Beverloo, Christian Dotremont, Asger Jorn, and Joseph Noiret on 8th November 1948 in the Café Notre-Dame, Paris. They believed in complete freedom of colour and form, had a aversion to Surrealism and shared an interest in Marxism and Modernism.

The movement was officially disbanded in 1951 (The last CoBrA exhibition was in Liège, Belgium), but many of its (30 or so) members remained close. Cobra was a milestone in the development of Tachisme and European abstract expressionism.

Members included William Gear (1915-1997), Stephen Gilbert (1910-2007), Carl-Henning Pedersen (1913-2007), Max Walter Svanberg (1912-1994) and Uno Vallman (1913-2004)

Alison M. Gingeras, the American curator and writer, praises Cobra as being a "...wonderfully messy, cacophonous and multi-tentacled entity" ('Revisiting the Radically Avant-Garde Art Movement that History ForgotÂ’, The Huffington Post, 22nd September 2015)