While one would expect the black brush strokes in this print to serve as outlines of the shapes within, separating them one from another, they only confound the boundaries between gestural figures, resulting in a claustrophobic, all-over composition of inscrutable forms.
Pierre Alechinsky encountered a quick succession of artistic “societies” in the years following World War II. He was studying book illustration and typography in Belgium when he joined the Young Belgian Painters. In the wake of his participation in the short-lived CoBrA group—an anti-surrealist avant-garde movement with founding members hailing from Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam—Alechinsky moved to Paris in order to develop his skills as a printmaker, making significant contacts with members of the surrealist group throughout the 1950s. His unique mixture of abstraction and figuration became important in later retrospective exhibitions of Surrealism, when the movement sought to position itself relative to contemporary abstract artistic practices.