ALECHINSKY Pierre

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Pierre Alechinsky (born 1927 in Brussels, Belgium) is a Belgian painter and graphic artist. He studied at the École Nationale Supérieur des Arts Visuels (ENSAV) in Brussels.

In 1949, he joined CoBrA movement, in which he and Christian Dotremont were some of the prime movers. With Reinhoud d’Haese he additionally organized the assembly hall ‘Les ateliers du Marais’ in Brussels, which was meeting point for many of the CoBrA artists. In 1954, Chinese artist Walasse Ting introduced Alechinsky to Chinese arts, which significantly influenced his works. In his artistic work, Alechinsky combines various techniques such as watercolor painting and sketches. In the late 1950s, his work gained more freedom with respect to shapes and colors, and mythical creatures start to appear in them. In the 1960s, the influence of oriental calligraphy becomes obvious in his works. In 1965, he changed from oil colors to acrylic paints in combination with paper, which he subsequently backs with canvas. He paints the thin papers while they are lying on the ground. Up from this point of time he also started applying his characteristic ‘marginal drawings’: series of drawings, arranged around the main painting. In some of his works, the marginal drawings even outrank the main painting.

Ever since the late 1980s, he has been incorporating sewer covers with his works. Armed with paper, he moves out on the streets to create a “print through” of respective sewer covers, which he later edits and improvises on. Alechinsky paints also on old documents such as shares, land maps and air navigation maps.

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