Pierre Alechinsky (b. 1927)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE ITALIAN COLLECTION
Pierre Alechinsky (b. 1927)

Les tenants et les aboutissants

Details
Pierre Alechinsky (b. 1927)
Les tenants et les aboutissants
signed 'Alechinsky' (lower right); signed, titled and dated 'Alechinsky 59 Les tenants et les aboutissants' (on the stretcher)
mixed media on canvas
231.5 x 200.5 cm.
Executed in 1959
Provenance
Count Pier de Ségur, Paris
Acquired from the above by the family of the present owner in 1960.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Lot Essay

When the CoBrA group had dissolved, Pierre Alechinsky moved to Paris in 1952. It was here that he was introduced to Japanese calligraphy and was influenced by it to such an extent, that he started to incorporate it in his own works. Through this he came to emphasize on a meditative and mediumistic use of spontaneity as a way of painting intuitively and unconsciously within the dynamics of the present moment. Subsequently, his paintings tended to become materialisations which imagery and form grew out of a sequence of impulsive and spontaneous painterly acts. To enhance his technical skills, he studied calligraphy in Japan in 1955. This first-hand experience enabled him to make his compositions even more dynamic, because of the balance he found between colour and form.

The present lot, Les tenants et les aboutissants, is completely set up out of lines, which, in combination with the streaks of colour, result in a swirling mass of creatures and faces taking over the entire surface of the canvas. Even though not one inch of the canvas appears to remain empty, the composition is very much in balance. Alechinsky achieved this through the soft colours he has used, predominantly (off-) white and salmon pink with red and blue highlights in places. In addition, one can discern a rhythm in the dazzling forms, since they are mainly horizontally and vertically orientated, with only a diagonal line disappearing into the upper right corner to create an interesting tension and breaking the regularity, without the figures distorting in mayhem. The immense canvas is rather a point of tranquillity and meditation.

Stemming from his CoBrA period, Alechinsky put much emphasis on spontaneity and unpredictability, thus allowing himself to put his emotions as directly as possible on the two-dimensional plane. The title of the work, Les tenants et les aboutissants, however, seems to be a directive. It is a French saying , meaning the ins and outs. But since the title does not give a very definite and decisive meaning of the work, it rather enlarges the mystery of it. The ins and outs of an unknown entity lift the composition up to an even more ethereal level. It might refer to the artists own feelings and emotions: the lines, forms and colour could be an expression of the artists psyche, created spontaneously and without any preconceived notions.
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