Pierre Alechinsky was born in Belgium in 1927. After World War II he began his career as an artist after becoming involved with the avant-garde group Cobra, which was formed by a group of young artists from Belgium, Holland, and Denmark. Inspired by children's pictures, Cobra placed a strong emphasis on freedom without adhering to any given set of principles or positions, allowing each of the artists to develop his own style. During his time with the short-lived group, Alechinsky expressed his unique character in abstract paintings based primarily on linear elements, and not long after, he discovered Asian calligraphic art in Paris. Making use of his entire body to apply sumi ink to sheets of paper stretched out on the floor, Alechinsky felt an affinity with the freewheeling, avant-garde calligraphy that was emerged from Japan at the time.
Alechinsky moved to Paris in 1951 to study printmaking under a grant from the French government. He studied engraving with Hayter at the Atelier 17 in 1952.
In the 1960s Alechinsky traveled extensively in Europe, the United States and Mexico and participated in numerous international exhibitions.
Author of an impressive corpus of paintings and prints, Alechinsky is currently one of the most prominent European artists.