Sense títol, c. 1979

Untitled, c. 1979
Painting, 51 x 31 cm

Influenced by Surrealist automatism and the existential currents that arose in Paris in the postwar years, Michaux’s painting is a field of action in which the mind is freed to create unfettered gestures and movements. One of his prevalent themes is the human figure, although invariably filtered by his constant probing of the psyche and experimentation with his own unconscious mind.

He produced an extensive series of untitled portraits, faces of intense hues constructed as different masses of colour. Michaux used watercolour to achieve a fast, intense and concentrated execution. This watercolour on paper made in 1948 shows a face drawn with subtle lines and coloured washes of blue, green, yellow and red. It is a spontaneous painting of rapid and energetic gestures that incorporates figures with a spectral, ghostly air. These beings are often little more than suggested, outlines with prominent eyes and open wounds, which seem to emerge from a dreamlike world or psychic universe that has been altered or guided by mind-altering substances. His invention of a visual calligraphy, his interest in dissolving form and his reinvention of the human body stem from the redefinition of European abstraction during the postwar period.

Technical details

Original title:
Sense títol
Registration number:
Michaux, Henri
Date created:
c. 1979
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
Watercolour on Japanese paper
51 x 31 cm (height x width)
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
© Henri Michaux, VEGAP, Barcelona
It has accessibility resources:

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