Since he was trained at the École nationale supérieure d’architecture et des arts visuels de La Cambre in Brussels, Pierre Alechinsky was taught how to work in all techniques related to paper and printing, from illustration to typography. Pierre Alechinsky, painter and writer, who wrote what he found it impossible to paint, and vice versa, often refers to an anecdote in which he explains his ambidextrousness: left handed by nature, he was forced to write with his right hand, but was still allowed to draw with his left and in this manner preserved the spontaneity of his movements. He started painting in 1947, when he was twenty years of age, and soon joined a group of young Belgian artists, Jeune Peinture belge (of which James Ensor was honorary president). Two years later he joined the CoBrA group, in which artists from Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam, founded in 1948 by the poet Christian Dautremont, came together. The movement was characterised by the development of spontaneity, translated into painting via gesturality free for strong impasto, the use of pure colours, the overcoming of abstraction and the return to figurative references or motifs, which was achieved with a synthesis of figuration. Pierre Alechinsky went on promoting the spirit of this movement, which had an amazing impact on the European painting of that time. During the 1950s his contacts and relations with painters and calligraphers from China (Walasse Ting) and Japan (Yasse Tabuchi) set the seal on his attachment to ink, drawing and the poetics of movement. The oeuvre of this artist became increasingly salient on the art scene and Pierre Alechinsky moved to Paris, in 1951. La galerie de France presented his work from 1958 and invited him to New York, where he discovered acrylics and often used ink on paper on canvas; he prioritized materials that needed only a short time to dry. Pierre Alechinsky created ambitious compositions with “marginal notes”, zones in which his notes and forecasts were put, with isolated figures, trees and cobras, which bore symbolic meanings, quite often with the motif of the chimera, made out of parts of numerous animals, with dense treetops merged in the fluidity of the technique used, which transmit a confident and sometimes rapid sculptural expression. This is the case with the picture entitled The Parting of the Waters (1990-1991) in which, through his painting and colour, Pierre Alechinsky focuses on the concept of the attraction of the continents.
La Fondation Maeght conserve dans ses collections deux peintures, l'une est un don de l'artiste en 1982 et l'autre fut offerte par la Société des Amis de la Fondation Maeght en 2009, ainsi que des dessins et des lithographies.