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Henri Michaux

"To dare in all with excess, to push anything in the extreme limits."


Notes of biography

Henri Michaux was born in Namur (Wallonie, Belgium) in 1899. He grew up in Brussels. He studied in a Jesuit Institut and wanted to devote his life to the religion but his father decided for him and he began studies of medicine in 1919. He gave up this way quickly and joined up the navy. He was a distressed teenager; his first literary experiments were marked by the frequentation of Tolstoï and Dostoïevski. After having read works of Lautréamont, Michaux began writing in 1922.
When he met, in Paris (1925), Paul Klee, Max Ernst and Giorgio de Chirico, he started to be interested in painting and graphic arts. Henri Michaux travelled between 1927 and 1937 (Asia, South Africa). He wrote, drew, and painted. His first exhibition was organized in Paris in 1937; his graphic production became more important than his literary production.
During all his life, Michaux will practised the watercolour as much as the drawing, the gouache, the etching and ink. With his new interest in calligraphy, the artist-writer often used it in his works. In the Fifties, Michaux tried out hallucinogens drugs, particularly mescaline. These experiments inspired his art as well as his writings. This time of creation was consecrated with an exhibition to the Gallery La Hune (Paris, 1956), then by two important exhibitions, in Brussels to the Palais des Beaux-Arts (1957) and in Frankfurt (1959).
However, he never belonged to the Surrealist movement, his art was often compared with it. Michaux‘s paintings remained always figurative, in spite of a strong tendency to abstraction. The artist intention is not to flee the world, but to increase the conscience of it. To increase the conscience of the world by the increase of its perception. Henri Michaux‘s works was exhibited in Paris with “The lyric flight, Paris, 1945-1956” presented at the Museum of Luxembourg in 2006.
Henri Michaux died in Paris in 1984, he was 85 years old.

Artists on display

The art and the artists display: proclamations, galleries, museums, personal or collective exhibitions. On walls or in shop windows, wise or rebels, posters warn, argue, show. Some were specially conceived by an artist for such or such event, other, colder, have only the letter.

Some were created in lithographic technic, most are simple offset reproductions. They are many those who like collecting these rectangles of paper, monochrome or in games of colours, in matt paper or brilliant, with many words or almost dumb.

We are happy also to be able to greet, by this pages, mythical galleries as those of Denise René, Louis Carré, Claude Bernard, Berheim Jeune, Maeght, Pierre Loeb and others.


Complete work(s)

Complete work(s)
All the complete works

Bibliographic track and more

To read about the artist :
  • « H. Michaux », R. Bertelé, Poètes d'aujourd'hui, Ed. P Seghers, Paris, 1957
  • « M. », R. Bréchon, coll. La Bibliothèque idéale, Ed. Gallimard, Paris, 1959
  • « Henri Michaux », A. Jouffroy, coll. Le Musée de Poche, Ed. G. Fall, Paris 1961
  • « Henri Michaux », coll., cat., Erker Verlag, Saint-Gall, 1973
  • « Un itinéraire de l'art plastique », R. Bertel, in L'Herne, n°8, Paris, 1966, rééd. 1983
  • « Henri Michaux - 50 lithographies originales », cat., Ed. Le Point Cardinal, 1984
  • « Meidosems », E. R. Jackson, Ed. Moving Part Press, Santa Cruz, 1992
  • « Henri Michaux - Les livres illustrés », M. Imbert, Ed. La Hune, Paris, 1993
  • « Michaux inédit », E. Pernoud, in revue Nouvelles de l'Estampe, n°133, mars 1994
  • « Henri Michaux », Jean-Pierre Martin, Ed. Gallimard, Paris, 2004
To read from the artist :
  • « Henri Michaux - Peintures », A. Pacquement, Ed. Gallimard, Paris, 1993
  • « Poteaux d’angle », Ed. Gallimard, Paris, 2004
Website :
No website dedicated to the artist.

More :

Art movements

+ SURREALISM / 1924-1969 / Marcel Duchamp, Dora Maar, Kurt Schwitters, Taro Okamoto, Antonio Berni, etc.
+ LYRIC ART, ABSTRACT, TACHISM / 1950-1960 / Jackson Pollock, Emil Schumacher, etc.
All art movements

See & discover

Beyond works currently in stock, it seemed to me useful to combine business with pleasure by letting you discover others works by artists in my gallery. These artworks, now sold or removed from our website, have been in our stock in the past.

These pages will undoubtedly make it possible for some of you to associate an image with its title or the other way round, for others it will be a good time to discover more on such and such artist. For the sake of confidentiality – the pieces being no longer available – we won't display neither their numbering or their price. For whatever reason, make sure to visit this amazing art database with to date 6441 online works just for your pleasure! Michelle Champetier

See & discover