In 1948, after graduating in book illustration and typography, Alechinsky started painting. Early in 1949 he discovered Cobra after visiting an exhibition. He helped Christian Dotremont to organise and coordinate the exhibitions. Together with his wife Mickey he was responsible for the publication of the Cobra magazine, of which Dotremont was the editor-in-chief. Alechinsky set up Ateliers du Marais in Brussels. This joint studio became the international meeting centre of Cobra. Alechinsky also organised the major Cobra exhibition in Liège in 1951, which heralded the end of Cobra.