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Pierre Alechinsky

Born in 1927 in Brussels, Belgium, Pierre Alechinsky has lived in worked as an artist and professor in France since 1951. Alechinsky first made a name for himself after studying at the renowned architecture and visual-arts school, l'Ecole de La Cambre in Brussels, when he teamed up with fellow artists Christian Dotremont, Karel Appel, Constant, Jan Nieuwenhuys and Asger Jorn, to form CoBra -- a European avant-garde movement active from 1948 to 1951. He participated both with the CoBra exhibitions and went to Paris to study engraving at Atelier 17 under the guidance of Stanley William Hayter in 1951.

After his first exhibition in Paris, Alechinsky became interested in oriental calligraphy In the early 1950s he was the Paris correspondent for the Japanese journal Bokubi (the joy of ink). In 1955, encouraged by Henri Storck and Luc de Heusch, he left for Japan with his wife. Alechinsky exhibited at the Ohara Museum of Art, Kurashiki, and made a film: Japanese Calligraphy – Christian Dotremont would write the commentary with music by Andre Souris.

By 1960 Alechinsky had exhibited in London, Bern and at the Venice Biennial, and then in Pittsburgh, New York City, Amsterdam and Silkeborg as his international reputation grew. His international career continued throughout the seventies and by 1983 he became Professor of painting at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris. In 1994 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Free University of Brussels, and in 1995 one of his designs was used on a Belgian stamp. His works are held in the collections of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, the Tate, Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.