30 July 2009


Pierre Alechinsky born in 1927 in Brussels, is one of the leading European artists in abstract expressionism. Alechinsky attended art school and went on to form the Cobra group along with Karel Appel, Christian Dotremont, Asger Jorn, and others. Cobra, an acronym derived from the first letters of the member's home cities (Copenhagen, Brussels, Amsterdam), was short-lived but a had a huge impact on the art world. The group focused their efforts on reverting to child-like abstraction, with "strong, almost violent brushstrokes" and a bright color palette. The group disbanded in 1952 upon the departure of Dotremont to the US. Alechinsky continued to make work in this style, and collaborated with members of the group for years on after. Most of Alechinsky's pieces are in oil or acrylic paint or prints; he was highly influenced by Japanese calligraphy and has a good amount of work done in Indian ink. Alechinksy's media are quite reminiscent of Pollock. His works are abstract, though they appear to be a bit more illustrative than the average abstract expressionist.

(I apologize for this terrible reproduction, will upload a better one soon)

"The Large Transparent Things," chosen by the Artbook, seems to be possibly an obscure choice, as it was impossible to find online and is held in a private collection. Even so, this is an excellent portrayal of the type of abstraction that was going on in the 50s. Akin to many of the pieces of the era, "The Large Transparent Things" is an uninhibited expression of the subconscious. As the Artbook says, this piece seeks "freedom from the constraints of reason," and is a great example of what Cobra was striving for.

Below are also a few paintings and prints I found that I really like. Though they all could be grouped under "abstract expressionism," these pieces  show the variety of subject and style in his work. Alechinsky also created a film, "Calligraphie Japonaise," which I unfortunately could not find online. 


"Plate II"


"Bag of Lines"

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