French, 1927 -
Pierre Alechinsky (born 1927, Belgium) worked in a wide range of media throughout his career, including painting, printmaking, drawing, and film. In 1947, he became a member of the Jeune Peinturge Belge, and in 1949 he became affiliated with COBRA (an acronym for Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam), a group of young artists from those cities who shared expressionistic sensibilities. Alechinsky studied book illustration and typography at the Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Architecture et des Arts Decoratifs, and calligraphy in Japan—concepts and techniques that are evident in his later work. In this series of lithographs, Alechinsky plays with the concept of the “picture plane,” or physical surface of the work, as a window. Large circular masses of color move within these windows, exerting pressure on the other elements of the image or, in turn, being squeezed and shaped by the confines of their rectangular home. Alechinsky also uses abstract forms and color to weave a complex imaginary narrative. Through his storytelling, he enables the viewer to understand these windows as portals to the artist’s imagination.