Pierre Alechinsky ( Brussels 1927 )

Pierre Alechinsky, one of the founders of the CoBrA group (a European avant-garde movement active from 1948 to 1951, named after the members’ home cities of Brussels, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam) studied illustration techniques, printing and photography in Brussels. In his work, he assembles expressionism and surrealism in a varied and poetic oeuvre, brimming of imagination and cultural notions, drawing a connection between Western European and Asian culture. By using expressive materials, such as ink or quick-drying acrylic paint, he found freedom in a spontaneous, fluid and sensible style. Alechinsky was fascinated by anything related to printmaking and Oriental calligraphy. He adopted the Oriental manner of painting, whereby the paper is spread on the floor and the artist leans over the work holding the bottle of ink, allowing a greater freedom of movement. He often uses pieces of paper that had previously served some other purpose, such as legal documents, invoices and bonds, on which he left his marks. His paintings contain such themes as volcanic eruptions flowing into one another, deep cleavages, waterfalls, monsters, eerie snakes, lively clouds and birds.