Amstedam, Netherlands, 1920 - Utrecht, Netherlands, 2005
The Dutch artist Constant Nieuwenhuys, better known as Constant (Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1920 – Utrecht, Holanda, 2005), studied at the Rijksakademie. He lived in Paris in the late 1940s, where he met Asger Jorn and co-founded the CoBrA group along with Karel Appel, Christian Dotremont and other artists from Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam. Taking its name from the first letters of those cities, the group was characterised by a highly expressionistic style, inspired by cave paintings and children’s drawings, and committed to social and political concerns. CoBrA held a major exhibition in 1949 at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam under the title International Experimental Art, yet the group dissolved in the early fifties. Constant later became involved with the Situationist International. This group of artists, writers and social activists, with roots in Marxism, Lettrism and the early twentieth-century artistic and political avant-garde, became Constant's vehicle for crossing over the border that conventionally separates architecture from art.