Henri Michaux

Work

Text

Henri Michaux was a liminal character; he was resistant and reluctant, an individualist, someone who propagated complexity and refused comfort. In his art and literature, both of which he mastered like no other yet still considered separate entities, he searched for the gaps, for the worlds in between. Making and automatic painting are connected to his search for traces, a deeply human understanding of life and its multiple effects through new perspectives that need to be continuously created from scratch. His experience with hallucinogenic substances and his criticism of conventional ideas of how to deal with space artistically influenced him throughout his life. In 1985, shortly after Michaux’s death (1984), the first exhibition of his work took place at Fred Jahn in Maximilianstraße, Munich. A comprehensive publication will appear on the occasion of the artist’s next solo exhibition at Galerie Jahn und Jahn in October.

Vita

1899

Henri Michaux is born on May 27 in Namur (Belgium) and grows up in Brussels

1919—1921

After finishing his medical studies in Brussels, he hires as a sailor in the merchant navy

1922

After returning to Brussels, he begins to write

1924

Move to Paris

1925

Michaux studies the paintings of Paul Klee, Max Ernst and de Chirico

1927

His first important book is published: “Qui je fus”

1927—1937

Michaux travels through Turkey, South America, India, and China

He writes and publishes books: “Un certain Plume” (1930), “Un barbare en Asie” (1933), “La nuit remue” (1935), “Voyage en Grande Garabagne” (1936)

1937

Michaux begins to draw and paint on a regular basis

First solo exhibition at the Libraire-Galerie de la Pléiade in Paris

1946

He begins experimental painting under the influence of drugs

1955

Michaux becomes a French citizen

1959

Participation in the documenta 2

1960

Participation in the Venice Biennale

Michaux is awarded the Einaudi Prize

1964

Participation in the documenta 3

1965

Comprehensive retrospective at the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris

Michaux rejects the “Grand Prix National des Lettres” of the Republic of France

1977

Participation in the documenta 7

1978

Retrospective at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, after that at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, and the Musée d’Art Contemporain, Montreal

1984

Henri Michaux dies on October 19 in Paris

Selected Solo Shows

2018

The Other Side – Guggenheim Bilbao, Bilbao

2016

Henri Michaux. Mit Rätseln Antworten (Answering in Riddles) – Galerie van de Loo Projekte, Munich

2013

Momente – Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Winterthur

2007

National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (retrospective)

2002

Henri Michaux. Frottages – Les Abbatoirs, Toulouse

2000

Untitled Passages – The Drawing Center, New York

Bilder. Arbeiten auf Papier (Pictures. Works on Paper) – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich

1999

Henri Michaux. Peindre, Composer, Écrire – Bibliotèque Nationale Paris, Paris

1998

Centre Cultural Tecla Sala, Barcelona

Die Meskalinzeichungen von Henri Michaux (The Mescaline Drawings of Henri Michaux) – Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz

1997

Biblioteca d’Estat de Literatura Estrangera, Moscow

1995

Museu de Arte Moderno, Rio de Janeiro

Musée Felicien Rops, Namur

Maison de la Culture, Namur

1994

Kulturhaus der Stadt, Graz

Rupertinum, Salzburg

Musée Rath, Geneva

1993

Das bildnerische Werk (Michaux’s artistic work) – Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste (Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts), Munich

Musée Cantini, Marseille

Galerie Lelong, Paris

Ecole Régionale des Beaux-Arts, Nantes

1992

Werke 1972–1984 (Works from 1972–1984) – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich

Galerie Zell am See, Zell am See

David Nolan Gallery, New York

1991

Galerie Limmer, Freiburg

1990

Werke 1967–1984 (Works from 1967–1984) – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich

1989

Galerie Karsten Greve, Cologne

Galerie Rudolf Zwirner, Cologne

1988

David Nolan Gallery, New York

1987

Museo de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires

Museo de Bellas Artes, Montevideo

Galerie Di Meo, Paris

Bilder, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Gedichte, Aphorismen 1942–1984 (Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings, Poems, Aphorisms from 1942–1984) – Galerie Fred Jahn Baaderstraße, Munich (cat.)

1986

Aquarelle und Pastelle aus den 40er- und 50er-Jahren (Watercolors and Pastels from the 40s and 50s) – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich

Espace Berthelot, Lyon

1985

Biennale de Paris, Paris

Hommage à Michaux – Abbaye de Beaulieu, Ginals

Galerie Le Point Cardinal, Paris (presentations since 1967)

1984

Musée de Valencia, Valencia

1983

Seibu Museum of Art, Tokyo (retrospective)

1981

Institut Français, Athens

1980

Galerie Ziegler, Zurich

1979

Galerie Pudelko, Bonn

1978

Musée national d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges-Pompidou, Paris (retrospective)

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (retrospective)

Musée d’Art Contemporain, Montreal (retrospective)

1977

Galerie Van de Loo, Munich

Galerie Thomas Borgmann, Cologne

1976

Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul-de Vence (retrospective)

Stadtmuseum, Graz (retrospective)

Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts, Vienna (retrospective)

Galerie Edwin Engelberts, Geneva

1975

Galerie Lefebre, New York

Moderna Museet, Stockholm

1974

Galerie Erker, St. Gallen

1972

Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels (retrospective)

Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hannover (retrospective)

1971

Palais des Beaux-Arts, Charleroi (retrospective)

Musée de Beaux-Arts, Gant (retrospective)

1969

Von der Heydt Museum, Wuppertal

Galerie Van de Loo, Munich

Musée d’Art et d’Industrie, Saint-Etienne

1968

Galerie Edwin Engelberts, Geneva

1967

Galerie Le Point Cardinal, Paris (further presentations until 1986)

Galerie del Naviglio, Milan

Michaux a Venezia – Palazzo Grassi, Venice

1966

Galerie Edwin Engelberts, Geneva

Galerie Rudolf Zwirner, Cologne

1965

Musée National d’Art Moderne de Paris, Paris (retrospective)

Cordier-Ekstrom Gallery, New York

1964

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (retrospective)

1963

Robert Fraser Gallery, London

Cordier-Ekstrom Gallery, New York

Galerie van de Loo, Munich

1962

Galerie Daniel Cordier, Paris

Silkeborg Museum, Silkeborg, Denmark

1960

Biennale, Venice

Galeria Blu, Milan

1959

documenta 2, Kassel

1958

Galleria dell’Ariete, Milan

1957

Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

1956

Maison de la Culture française, Cairo

1952

Galerie Nina Dausset, Paris

1951

Pour connaître mieux Henri Michaux – Galerie Rive Gauche, Paris

1949

Dernières peintures à l’eau – Galerie René Drouin, Paris

1948

Galerie René Drouin, Paris

1946

Galerie Rive Gauche, Paris

Peintures et dessins – Libraire-Galerie La Hune, Paris

1944

Galerie Rive Gauche, Paris

1942

Galerie de l’Abbaye (Léon Zack), Paris

1938

Galerie Pierre Loeb, Paris

1937

Librairie-Galerie de la Pléiade, Paris