Pierre Alechinsky

The Night


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Pierre Alechinsky born 1927
Original title
La Nuit
Etching on paper
Image: 234 × 307 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 2008

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Catalogue entry

P77242 The Night 1952

La Nuit
Etching 234 × 307 (9 1/4 × 12 1/8) on Rives paper 386 × 460 (15 1/4 × 18 1/8); plate-mark 234 × 307 (9 1/4 × 12 1/8); printed by the artist at Atelier 17, Paris; publisher not known; edition of 16
Inscribed ‘Alechinsky 52’ below image b.r. and ‘La Nuit 6/16’ below image b.l.
Purchased from Galerie Maeght Lelong, Paris (Grant-in-Aid) 1987
Lit:Lanier Graham, The Spontaneous Gesture: Prints and Books of the Abstract Expressionist Era, Canberra 1987, p.13, repr. p.40 (another state). Also repr: Pierre Alechinsky, Pierre Alechinsky: Les Estampes de 1946 à 1972, Paris 1973, p.40 no.89 (another impression)

[no further details]

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

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