The European artistic collective known as Cobra was born in thewake of World War II's devastating events, its name an acronymfor the native cities of its founders: Copenhagen, Amsterdam,and Brussels. The influential group of painters and sculptors hada tremendous impact on the development of European abstractexpressionism, and contemporary art in general. Cobra wasarguably the last avant-garde movement of the 20th century.Moving chronologically, this book explores the years leadingup to Cobra's formation, charts its complex expansion over adecade, and illuminates how the movement helped shape thetrajectory of contemporary art today. Thoughtfully integratedamong the numerous images, many presented as full-pagecolor illustrations, are essays that probe the ideologicalhallmarks that shaped the group as a whole: its rejection ofrational constraints; a focus on play and youthfulness; andits embrace of immediacy, particularly in the form of "action"paintings. In addition, comprehensive biographies of the artistsilluminate crucial aspects of each individual's journey, helpingto expand readers' understanding of Europe's socio-politicaland theoretical climate.