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Henri Michaux, Untitled
Henri Michaux, Untitled, 1979

Henri Michaux was born in 1899 in Namur, Belgium, and spent his childhood in Brussels. He is best known for his poetry, painting, drawing and travel writing. His contacts with members of the Parisian circle of artists including Giorgio de Chirico, Paul Klee, Max Ernst and Salvador Dalí and his experiments with hallucinatory drugs, as did his travels in Asia and South America provided inspiration for his work. Michaux’s art and writing were strongly influenced by his involvement in the Surrealist movement, which inspired him to strive toward a broader awareness of the world around him and to translate his observations into words and images. His paintings and ink drawings hover on the edge of abstraction, incorporating symbols and calligraphic elements, hinting at forms and hidden meanings.
Michaux's visual work was first exhibited in Paris, where his style caused a sensation; his works have received considerable international attention and were exhibited at the Venice Biennale, at documenta in Kassel, at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and at the Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris during his lifetime. Michaux also won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1965, which he refused to accept. In 1955 Michaux became a French citizen. He continued to live and work in France until his death in 1984 at the age of 85.

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