Henri Michaux

The oeuvre of painter, writer and poet Henri Michaux is generally associated with informal art. This is a collective term for post-war abstract art movements in which artists sought out and employed their ‘pure’, intuitive and spontaneous creative impulses. During his travels through Asia, Michaux became acquainted with Eastern culture and developed an interest in calligraphy. This also led to a predilection for East Indian ink. Finding it impossible to communicate what he wanted to say via language, the poet began to paint. A breakthrough came in 1948 – a few years after the tragic death of his wife – when he sought refuge in hallucinogenic substances. In 1978, Henri Michaux was given prestigious retrospective exhibitions at the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.


year and place of birth: 1899, Namur, Belgium
whereabouts: d. 1984, Paris, France

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