Press Release
21 September 2000
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Michael Werner Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of major works on paper of the French artist and poet, Henri Michaux (1899-1984).

Michaux was primarily a poet when he first began experimenting with painting and drawing in the early 1920s. Through this new medium, he began to express himself beyond the verbal limitations imposed by his writings. These early combinations of poetry and drawing led him to form his own ideograms for expression. This symbiotic relationship would be central to Michaux's work throughout his career, creating a new linguistic style unencumbered by the specifications of the individual mediums.

From 1927-1937, Michaux, always searching for knowledge and insight, traveled extensively throughout Turkey, South America, India, and Asia, writing poems and travel diaries, and drawing and painting sporadically. It was not until 1937 that he turned his attention to drawing and painting regularly. From that time onwards, writing and drawing existed in tandem for Michaux. In the 1950s, Michaux created the 'Mouvements'drawings, which, when arranged in sequence, explored rhythm, movement and space. The concept of motion and space was further enhanced when Michaux, continually extending the boundaries of his knowledge, experimented with mescaline. He produced a series of drawings not under the influence but in the wake of the drug experience, each intricately detailed depictions of minute forms, organic shapes and repeating patterns. These drawings were formed from an artificially induced, heightened awareness, representing an intuitive and non-verbal vision of reality.

This exhibition of over sixty works on paper from the 1940s to the 1970s will provide a unique opportunity to view rare and important works that are little-known in the United States. Additionally, an exhibition of over 120 works, 'Untitled Passages by Henri Michaux' will be on view at The Drawing Center from 28 October through 20 December.

The Michael Werner Gallery exhibition will be on view from 21 September through 25 November. A full-color catalogue will be available. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 am until 6:00pm.

For further information, please contact the gallery.