Pierre Alechinsky: Painting in Solitude

Explore the myriad of moods that radiate from the abstract paintings of Pierre Alechinsky
“When one is faced with a canvas, one is no longer alone, and the sense of solitude diminishes. This can be an agreeable passage of time. In fact, solitude then becomes a kind of companion." 
— Pierre Alechinsky
Pierre Alechinsky, Le jeu de quatre coins, 1973, acrylic on paper mounted on canvas, 39 x 60 1/2 in
Born in Brussels on October 19, 1927, Alechinsky moved to Paris after studying at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture et des Arts Décoratifs. It is in Paris that he joins the CoBrA movement, which are the initials of the three capitals Co for Copenhagen with Jorn, Br for Brussels with Alechinsky and A for Amsterdam with Appel and Corneille, in a shared passion for thefreedom of form and colour. After traveling around Japan in 1955, the artist showed a strong interest in Asian artistic techniques, ultimately adopting a style which incorporated processes of Japanese calligraphy.

Such as in Le jeu de quatre coins, 1973 (above), not only does the artist work from a seemingly unrestricted colour palette, as dark blue is splattered upon bright white, Alechinsky practices a relaxed painting style of which the finished work embraces the coincidental flaws and imperfections created during the process. As seen most clearly in Lie de vin, 2016 (below), many of his works feature colourful, intricate borders, contrasting with the freedom of his central compositions. 

While he celebrates the liberation of form and colour, his paintings can equally be said to act as a liberation of the self. Alechinsky states, "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." The psychological aspect of painting is therefore fundamental to the artist, as he views each blank canvas as a stimulating opportunity to express himself. 
Pierre AlechinskyLie de vin, 2016, acrylic on paper mounted on canvas, 43 1/3 x 51 in
April 29, 2020