Pierre Alechinsky

Pierre Alechinsky

Profile

Pierre Alechinsky is an international contemporary artist, born in Brussels in 1927. He studied illustration techniques and typography at La Cambre school, Brussels. He joined in 1949 the avant-garde art group “CoBrA” (1948-1951) and then moved to Paris. He had a close relationship with Shiryu Morita, the leader of the Bokubi group of calligraphers (Kyoto). He visited Japan for the first time in 1955 and made a documentary film: Japanese Calligraphy. Influenced by Walasse Ting, met in Paris in 1954, he started to use india ink and chinese pinsels. In 1965 he began working with acrylic painting with marginalia, on paper mounted on canvas. In 1977 he received the Andrew W. Mellon Prize at the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburg. Since the 50’s he has developed a remarkable and considerable print work (etchings, lithographs…). Many museum shows around the world have demonstrated the richness and the variety of his work. Recently he received the French citizenship. During 2016−17, he held his first large-scaled retrospective exhibitions in Tokyo and Osaka, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Belgium and Japan. He is the first Belgian and French recipient of the Praemium Imperiale.

Read more...

Pierre Alechinsky is an international contemporary artist well-known for directly expressing his inner feelings in versatile styles (paintings, drawings, prints, ceramics). At the age of 90, his creative powers still seem to be endless.
 He is the son of parents who were both medical doctors. After having studied illustration techniques and typography at La Cambre school (Brussels) from 1944, he joined in 1949 the avant-garde art group CoBrA (Appel, Constant, Corneille, Dotremont, Jorn…) and played an active role as its youngest member. This group’s name was derived from the initial letters of Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam. This group was dissolved in 1951 and Alechinsky moved to Paris.
 From 1952, he started to correspond with the Japanese avant-garde calligrapher Shiryu Morita. In 1955, he traveled to Japan with his wife Micky in order to produce a film: Japanese Calligraphy. Toko Shinoda (now 105 years old) is a main figure of this film.
 Influenced by Walasse Ting, met in Paris in 1954, he started to use india ink and chinese pinsels. In 1965 in New York, he began to use acrylic paint: taking advantage of the quick drying quality of this new medium, he developed his own free and floating brushing techniques. Central Park, created during his stay in Manhattan, using marginalia (india ink drawings mounted around the central composition) became a turning point in his creative style.
 He has also created a rich body of works upon old documents such as old deeds, worthless stock certificates and maps. Since the 50’s he has produced a remarkable and considerable print work (etchings, lithographs…). Many museum shows around the world have demonstrated the richness and the variety of his works. Pierre Alechinsky has illustrated many famous writers (Butor, Caillois, Cioran, Ionesco, Tardieu…) and written several books.
 For four years from 1983, he was a professor of painting at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris. He held in 2016 his first large-scale retrospective exhibition in Japan, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Belgium and Japan. This exhibition took place in Tokyo and Osaka. Recently he received the French citizenship. He is the first Belgian and French recipient of the Praemium Imperiale.

Biography

  1927 Born in Brussels
  1944 École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs, La Cambre, Brussels
  1949 Joins the CoBrA group (Appel, Constant, Corneille, Dotremont, Jorn…)
  1951 Organizes the second and last Cobra international exhibition, Palais des beaux-arts, Liège (Belgium)
  1952 Moves to Paris.
  1955 Travels to Japan, makes a film : Japanese Calligraphy (Diplôme d'honneur au Festival du film culturel, Tokyo, 1961)
  1958 Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
  1961 Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
  1965 The Arts Club of Chicago
  1967 Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  1969 Louisiana Museum of Art, Humlebaek (Danmark)
  1972 36th Venice Biennale, Belgian Pavilion
  1975 Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris
  1977 Andrew W. Mellon Prize, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburg
  1980 Museo de Arte moderno, Mexico City
  1981 Museum of Modern Art, New York
  1983–87 Professor at the Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris
  1984 National French Grand Prix for Painting
  1987 The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
  1988 Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Beijing
  1989 Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas
  1991 Rupertinum, Salzburg
  1993 Fine Arts Museum, Taipei
  1998 Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris
  2000 Musée Jenisch, Vevey (Switzerland)
  2004 Centre Georges-Pompidou, Paris
  2005 Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.
  2007 Musées royaux des beaux-arts, Brussels
  2010 Musée Granet, Aix-en-Provence (France)
  2015 Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid
  2016 Musée Matisse, Le Cateau-Cambrésis (France).
  2017 The Bunkamura Museum of Art, Tokyo
  2018 The National Museum of Art, Osaka