In 1944 he attended the l'École nationale supérieure d'Architecture et des Arts décoratifs de La Cambre, Brussels where he studied illustration techniques, printing and photography.
In 1944 Pierre attended the l'École nationale supérieure d'Architecture et des Arts décoratifs de La Cambre, Brussels where he studied illustration techniques, printing and photography.
In 1945, Alechinsky discovered the work of Michaux, Dubuffet, surrealists and became friend with the art critic Jacques Putman. His first personal exhibition was organized in 1947. He met Dotremont in 1949 and adhered to the movement Cobra this same year (Asger Jorn, Karel Appel); he was one of the most active members until the Cobra’s dissolution in 1951. Alechinsky participated in the first International Exhibition of Cobra at the Stedjelijk Museum in Amsterdam. In 1954 he met the Chinese painter Wallace Ting who played an important role in the development of its work.
In the 50’s the artist stayed in The Far East, then in The United States; he was interested in the Japanese calligraphy and in the Action Painting. Both will influence durably his work. Alechinsky painted, on the ground, the interlacing of curves, figures and non figures, which are mostly encircled with a frame painted by small compartments filled with narrative or rhythmic motives, drawn in the Indian ink.
Alechinsky created suites, often very colored, in his painting and also in his graphic work. This last one began in the excitement of the Atelier 17 with Stanley William Hayter who will drive him and will always keep a place of choice in the expression of the artist. Alechinsky creates a lot of etchings and lithographs. Fond of books, he illustrates poems and texts (Cioran, Butor, Yves Bonnefoy, André Frénaud, Tardieu, etc.) and he publishes numerous books.
In 1983, Alechinsky becomes a painting teacher in Paris at the Ecole Supérieure des Beaux Arts de Paris. Since the 80’s, the artist goes on his graphic art on a big variety of supports. In the same time, he begins being a lot of in demand by Public boards (Palais Bourbon, Hall du Ministère des Finances, etc.). Exhibition and International retrospectives celebrate him, all over the world museums and galleries welcome his work. Pierre Alechinsky manages at once his work pictorial and literally (poetry, reports around his work).
His works are held in the collections of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, the Tate, Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The main-belt asteroid 14832 Alechinsky was named in his honour in October 2000. He currently lives and works in Bougival.
The Cat and the Rooster (Le chat et le coq) from Aesop's Fable (Fables d'Ésope)1946
The Hairdresser (Le coiffeur)1948
Loudspeaker (Haut parleur)1950
Les hautes herbes1951
Frying Pan (La poêle à frire)1951
The Ant Hill1954
Hommage à Ensor1956
Les grands transparents1958
Quotations: “When I paint, I liberate monsters. They are the manifestations of all the doubts, searches, and groping for meaning and expression which all artists experience. One does not choose the content, one submits to it.”
Pierre joined the Jeune Peinture Belge association in 1947. In 1949 he co-founded the Cobra group, but disassociated himself from it in 1951.
In 1955, encouraged by Henri Storck and Luc de Heusch, he left for Japan with his wife.