Georg Nothelfer

Henri Michaux


Born 1899 in Namur/Belgium 
1919 abandons his medical studies
1922 reads Lautréamont and begins to write
1925 encounters the painting of Klee, Ernst and de Chirico
1927 first book publications
1927 travels to Ecuador for several months; followed by trips to Anatolia, North Africa and Italy
1930-31 Asia trip to India, Indonesia, China, Japan
1935/37 South American travels to Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil
1937 first exhibition in the Galerie Pierre, Paris
1955 begins systematic experiences with hallucinogens
1959 and 1964 participant of the documenta 2 and 3, Kassel
1960 he is awarded the Einaudi Prize at the Venice Biennale
In 1965 he was awarded the Grand State Prize for Literature of the Republic of France, but he declined it
Died in Paris in 1984

The French writer, painter and draftsman Henri Michaux is regarded as an exceptional artist who succeeded in independently producing an independent poetic and an artistic oeuvre. In poetry as well as in drawing and painting, Michaux sought out forms of play to record his inner experience and to advance to unknown experiences. His literary as well as his artistic work are characterized by an unconditional will to be independent of schools and styles, by a rebellion against any form of convention. The restless travels of the young Michaux, the renunciation of a fixed abode and material comfort, the conscious confrontation with the foreignness of distant countries as well as with experimentation with drugs testify to his demanding approach to his own existence. Writing poems could only partially satisfy this desire; drawing and painting were to give expression to the inner experience that eludes language. Michaux sought an adequate expression for this in exaggeratedly quickly thrown down notations, which leave all conscious ability behind. In his ink drawings Michaux takes up scriptural elements and calligraphic signs that emerge seismographically from inner movements. The systems of word-language and sign-language interpenetrate each other. For all their tendency towards abstraction, his pictures nevertheless remain rooted in representationalism. The intention is not to escape the world, but to expand it through a change of consciousness. Galerie Georg Nothelfer showed Michaux for the first time in 1994 in a solo exhibition.



  • Ausstellungskatalog/Exhibition Catalogue, 1985, Edited by Manfred de la Motte/Galerie Georg Nothelfer, Texts by Julien Avard, Francis Bacon, Geneviève Bonnefoi, K.O. Götz, Rudolf Lange, Henri Michaux, Manfred de la Motte, Georg Nothelfer, Oktavio Paz, Wieland Schmied and Christoph Graf Schwerin, german/english/french, 156 pages, 48 colour ill./Duplex. Edition Galerie Georg Nothelfer, ISBN 3-930797-00-3, EUR 33