Henri Michaux. Saying No

16 Oct 2020 — 28 Nov 2020

Henri Michaux, Untitled, 1983, oil on cloth-lined board, 24 x 16 cm, courtesy of Jahn und Jahn, Munich, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2020
Henri Michaux is a denier. He paints to decondition himself, to stray, always in search of a roundabout way. In his search for moments that generate signs, Michaux first set off towards remote cultures. His initial forays in Latin America, India, and China offered him a real-life experience which enabled him to bring together opposites as few others could. Dialectical and spiritual thinking were thus fused within a conscious amnesia that conditioned his way of seeing art. Making and automatic painting were linked to the search for traces, a deeply human idea of life and its multiple repercussions through new perspectives. His experience with hallucinogens and his critique of conventional concepts of artistic space remained with him throughout his life. There is almost nothing painted in Michaux’s works; they are permeated with chance and yet each trace left on the support seems like a fertile ground for all that he produces. Fred Jahn mounted his first Michaux exhibition in 1985.