Born on 19 October 1927 in Brussels. The father of Pierre Alechinsky is a Russian Jew and his mother is Walloon. Both are doctors. From 1944 to 1948, Pierre Alechinsky studied typography and illustration at the School of Architecture and Decorative Arts in Brussels (La Cambre), where he learned illustration, printing techniques and photography . It was during this period that he discovered the work of Henri Michaux, Jean Dubuffet and the surrealists. It was also the beginning of his friendship with the art critic Jacques Putman. His first solo exhibition was in 1947. He joined the Cobra movement (made up of artists from Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam, who claim a provocative art) in 1949 with Karel Appel and Asger Jorn and became one of its more “effervescent” character until its dissolution in 1951. He lives and works in Bougival, and leads fronts pictorial and literary works: poems, notebooks around his work.
In the fifties, Pierre Alechinsky traveled to the Far East, in the United States. He is interested in the Japanese calligraphy, Action Painting, of which he summarizes the combined influences in his work. He paints on the ground interlacing curves, figures or non-figures that unfold. Often, the center of his canvas is surrounded by a frame painted with small boxes filled with narrative or rhythmic motifs (Central Park, 1965). In the eighties, he continued his graphic research on all sorts of medium, painted series of bullfighting (Al alimon, 1980), Psychopaths of fire (Terminal Cendres, 1989) and became for four years professor of plastic arts at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts. In April 2006, Pierre Alechinsky was made a Roi de la légion d’honneur in France. From December 2007 to March 2008, on his eighty birthday, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels paid tribute to him through a retrospective exhibition of the his entire career . Eugene Ionesco said of him: “Alechinsky is at the same time the painter, the fishing rod with his hook, the water of the river and the fish that are there.”
Unpredictable. Anticonformist. For sixty years, this man has been exploring the pleasure of creating, from painting to engraving, from books to ceramics.
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