The name Cobra is derived from the initials of the cities where the painters worked: Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam. The COBRA artists were opposed to the existing artistic views and believed that everyone should be able to express themselves freely and unhindered in the artistic field. The members of the Provo movement in the 1960s protested in a playful manner against the atomic bomb, the Vietnam War, authority, the church and environmental pollution.

Translation into art

There were artists active in those years who acted on the cutting edge of these three movements. The sexual revolution also took place in those years and was a change in society in which the way of dealing with each other and sexuality were viewed in a different light. Anton Martineau was one such artist: spontaneity, freedom, eroticism and drama play a major role in his portraits and still lifes.

Often filled with the contradictions of life such as joy versus fear, love (for life) versus death.

Mostly lyrical, always figurative. Although Martineau felt an affinity with the Cobra ideology, he never joined this movement because of his strong desire for freedom.

Martineau lived in Amsterdam and studied at the Royal Academy of Art (The Hague) and the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten (Amsterdam). Anton Martineau is an artist of international stature, having exhibited with Saura and Tapies at the Stadler gallery in Paris in 1967. His oeuvre consists of paintings, drawings and graphics in a strong expressionist figurative style. Spontaneous drawing plays an important role in his work.

Sensual experiences

Subjects are - first and foremost - people, dancing couples, tango, eroticism, the drama of love and death, joy and fear, absurd portraits and still lifes. His lyrical style was sometimes considered to belong to the international new figuration, but it also showed affinity with the expressionism of Cobra and Lucebert. He was also friends with Karel Appel, Corneille and the poet Gerrit Kouwenaar.

The development in his work in the mid 1960s coincided with the zeitgeist of the Provo movement and the sexual revolution. Martineau's lust for painting and his handling of oil paint may be seen in his comparison of the sensual experience of squeezing out a tube of paint with an orgasm, ...

Work by Martineau is on loan from Art Dumay