Henri Michaux Untitled Chinese Ink Drawing 1961

Artwork details

Artist
Henri Michaux 1899–1984
Title
Untitled Chinese Ink Drawing
Date 1961
Medium Ink on paper
Dimensions Support: 746 x 1099 mm
frame: 780 x 1130 x 39 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1963
Reference
T00577
Not on display

Display caption

Michaux was both a poet and a painter, but he spoke of drawing as a release from words: 'a new language, spurning the verbal'. His drawings are, nevertheless, calligraphic in character, often suggesting indecipherable writing. Between 1954 and 1962 he experimented with working under the influence of the drug mescaline. The early results were obsessively detailed, while the ink drawings show an intense repetition of slashing marks. Michaux described fighting with these blots, likening them to 'insatiable desires or knots of force, which are destined never to take form'.

August 2004

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