Pierre Alechinsky

Something of a World


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Pierre Alechinsky born 1927
Original title
Quelque chose d'un monde
Etching on paper
Image: 247 × 349 mm
Purchased 1987

Display caption

In the upper part of Something of a World the artist transcribed his own poem in mirror-image with both hands simultaneously. The personal quality of hand-writing greatly appealed to CoBrA artists. ‘The important thing,’ Alechinsky wrote, ‘is to discover an inner script ... with which we can explore ourselves organically.’ Alechinsky said that he painted as if he was a spinning-top, unable to control his own movements. This is evident in The Night in which twists and twirls of white on a black ground evoke luminous night forms.

Gallery label, July 2005

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Catalogue entry

P77241 Something of a World 1952

Quelque chose d'un monde
Etching 247 × 349 (9 3/4 × 13 3/4) on Lana paper 330 × 513 (13 × 20 1/4); plate-mark 247 × 349 (9 3/4 × 13 3/4); watermark of a ram's head; printed by the artist at Atelier 17, Paris; publisher not known; incomplete edition of 30 plus 10 artist's proofs
Inscribed ‘Alechinsky 1952’ below image b.l. and ‘9/30’ below image b.r.; image includes text, and its mirror-image, of a poem by the artist written with both hands simultaneously: ‘quelque chose d'un monde | où l'écriture d'un ver | se cachant dans l'ombre | se rapproche de l'envers- | quelque chose où nombre | de signes se cachent en mer. | en pleine mer, en plein sombre | à la recherche d'une terre | d'un ciel, d'une eau profonde’
Purchased from Galerie Maeght Lelong, Paris (Grant-in-Aid) 1987
Repr: ierre Alechinsky: Grafiek, exh. cat., Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam 1966, no.3 (unspecified impression); Pierre Alechinsky, Pierre Alechinsky: Les Estampes de 1946 à 1972, Paris 1973, p.41 no.91 (another impression)

[no further details]

Published in:
Tate Gallery: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1986-88, London 1996

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