ARTISTS / Modern art
Henri Michaux


Available works
1899Born in Namur, Belgium
1919studies medicine, but gives it up after a short time and joins the merchant navy as a sailor
1922Henri Michaux begins to write after reading Lautréamont himself
1924moves to Paris, becomes acquainted with Paul Klee, Max Ernst and Giorgio de Chirico
1927 and 1937travels to South America and Asia
1937first exhibitions in Paris galleries
1955French citizenship; systematic experiences with hallucinogens, especially mescaline
1957exhibition at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels
1959Retrospective at Daniel Cordier in Frankfurt am Main
1959 and 1964participant in documenta II and III in Kassel
1960awarded the Einaudi Prize at the Venice Biennale
1984died in Paris
Henri Michaux is one of the few 20th-century peintres poètes to have produced an outstanding and distinct body of work in both literature and the visual arts. From the beginning, Michaux's interest has been in exploring the limits of language and writing. In his ink drawings, Michaux incorporates scriptural elements and calligraphic signs that seem to emerge seismographically from internal movements. His drawings depict vibrating lines and force fields, honeycomb and cell-like structures reminiscent of alien landscapes and zoomorphic forms.
Beginning in 1955, Michaux experimented with mescaline under medical supervision to achieve a re-orientation of consciousness and an experience of the elasticity of space and time. Since 1962, predominantly between 1966 and 1969, the "Post-Mescaline Drawings", the "Dessins de Désagrégation", in which Michaux documents the state of desaggregation (decomposition) or reaggregation (recomposition/reassembly) without the aid of the drug, are created. 
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