(Belgian, b.1927) is a founding member of the CoBrA art movement. Known early on in his career for his skills as a draughtsman, Alechinsky studied as an illustrator and typographer at the National School of Architecture and Decorative Arts in Paris from 1944 to 1946. While in Paris, Alechinsky met the poet and artist Christian Dotremont
, and, shortly after their meeting, the two formed the CoBrA artistic group together with fellow artists Karel Appel
and Asger Jorn
. The name “CoBrA” was derived from the members’ hometowns: Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam; the group was formed on the basic principle of the freedom of color and form in art.
After moving to Japan in 1955 to study calligraphy, Alechinsky’s art became increasingly influenced by Asian traditions and techniques, as he adopted a calligraphic style and used India ink frequently in his work. Many of his works also feature borders or friezes of varying thicknesses, which allowed him to limit excessive color and detail to the edges of his works, focusing instead on the quality of line in the center of his paintings. His imagery includes beasts and biomorphic forms, and he works in a flexible painting style that embraces flaws and accidents in the final composition. Often, he creates works on used paper, infusing his paintings with the quality of a found object; as an artist, Alechinsky is always receptive to chance meetings and unexpected associations. From 1983 to 1987, he worked as a professor in Paris, and, in 1994, Alechinsky was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University in Brussels. Alechinsky lives and works in Paris, France.