Pierre Alechinsky

Beligian artist; Lives and works in France, since 1951. Pierre Alechinsky enrolled at the École Nationale Superieur d'Architecture et des Arts Décoratifs in Brussels in 1944 and attended classes of book illustration and typography. In 1947 he joined the group Jeune Peinture Belge. After finishing his artistic training in 1948, Alechinsky went to Paris for five months. Having returned to Brussels he met with the poet Christian Dotremont and joined the group COBRA in 1949, of whose semi-abstract Expressionism he was formed decisively in 1950. A scholarship by the French government led the artist to Paris in 1951. In 1954 Alechinsky met the Chinese artist Walasse Ting, who inspired him to travel to the Far East. Impressed by Japanese calligraphy he produced a movie on script art, which was awarded a special prize at the art film festival in Bergamo. After his return he joined the director's board of the Salon de Mai. In 1960 he received the Hallmark prize, New York. In 1963 Alechinsky setlled in Bougival near Paris. During the following years he travelled extensively, to Mexico, Lapland, Turkey and several times to New York. In 1970 Alechinsky received the order to design a Boeing 747 for Air France. Further he resigned from the Salon de Mai's director's board. In 1975 the Louisiana Museum in Humblebaek, Denmark arranged an Alechinsky-room. The very same year Alechinsky burned 200 stored paintings, which he regarded as unfinished. Several honours and awards accompanied the artist's work. He received a prize at the Triennale de la Gravure, Belgium in 1966, the Marzotto-prize, Italy in 1968, the Andrew-W.-Mellon prize for his Oeuvre of the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh in 1976, in 1983 he was appointed professor and head of a painting class at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure and in 1994 he received the honorary doctorate of the university of Brussels. Alechinsky also created murals for public spaces, e.g. together with Dotremont for the metro in Brussels (stop Anneessens) and he accepted the order for the design of a waiting room at the ministry of culture in Paris as well as the entrance at the French ministry of education at the Rue Grenelle in Paris. Alechinsky's works can be found in many museums and collections throughout Europe and the United States. A major retrospective exhibition was devoted to his oeuvre at the Jeu de Paume in Paris in 1998.

Read More