Paris — New York
Karel Appel / Pierre Alechinsky
Travaux à deux pinceaux (1976- 1978) - 12 March - 30 April 2020
Pierre Alechinsky and Karel Appel have known each other since 1949 and their CoBrA years. The artists from Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam enjoyed the emulation of works produced in collaboration, often combining poems, drawings and paintings. Appel and Alechinsky had each notably worked with Christian Dotremont, but it wasn’t until 1976 that they found themselves together in Pierre Alechinsky’s studio in Bougival, outskirts of Paris to embark on a series of ink works with two brushes.

Exhibitions

They established some basic principles: white plus the black of India Ink, the paper would be on the floor, one would start and the other would riposte… Then, the paper would be mounted on canvas.


The experience is repeated in 1977. In 1978, twenty drawings are made in Appel’s studio in New York. To illustrate this group of artworks, Hugo Claus wrote twenty poems and eighteen rhymes. Dotremont prefaced the catalogue of the exhibitions that took place at the Galerie de France in Paris, at the Louisiana Museum in Copenhagen, at the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul de Vence among other places.

oeuvres Les Ancêtres chuchotent Alechinsky & Appel
Les Ancêtres chuchotent
Alechinsky & Appel
1976. India ink on paper mounted on canvas, 153 x 271 cm
oeuvres Un temps splendide Alechinsky & Appel
Un temps splendide
Alechinsky & Appel
1976. India ink on paper mounted on canvas, 172 x 152 cm
oeuvres Je vous l'offre de bon coeur Alechinsky & Appel
Je vous l'offre de bon coeur
Alechinsky & Appel
1976. India ink on paper mounted on canvas, 151 x 154 cm

This exhibition invites us to rediscover a number of these “two brushes” works, which also shows coloured paintings produced by Alechinsky and Appel in the same decade.