Press Release

Henri Michaux: The Other Side

  • Dates: February 2 to May 13, 2018
  • Curator: Manuel Cirauqui

Via more than 200 pieces, documents, and artist’s objects, the show offers an overview divided into three major thematic areas: the human figure, the alphabet, and the altered psyche.

Fundamental series like black backgrounds, frottages, movements, and mescaline-induced drawings are broadly represented in this show, including works that have never before been exhibited.

The exhibition underscores the artist’s unflagging interest in the sciences, musicology, and ethnography.

Michaux experimented with hallucinogenic substances in an ascetic, systematic spirit in order to observe the way the mind behaves under experimental conditions.

Both his graphic and his literary works ensconced Michaux as an early doyen of the dawning psychedelic culture and underground mysticism.

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao presents Henri Michaux: The Other Side, an exhibition which brings together a prominent set of works by an unclassifiable figure of the arts and literature of the 20th century. Over the course of his long life, Henri Michaux (Namur, Belgium, 1899–Paris, France, 1984) greatly influenced the artists and writers of his time, both as a “poets’ poet” and a “painters’ painter”, lionized by figures in both fields like André Gide and Francis Bacon.

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