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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Michel Henricot

Michel Henricot

Born in Paris in 1941, he confesses to being largely “…self-taught. I was always at the Louvre, staring like crazy at the pictures there, fascinated by ‘how it’s done’.” … (Leonor) Fini’s works from the 60s influenced, to a degree, the young Henricot. Depicted in a hieratic style with underlying geometrical forms, her graceful elongated figures seem to exist in timeless spaces that are dark and densely atmospheric. Henricot’s earliest figures also have this graceful quality, but were more stylized and cybernetic, with ergonomic designs on their metallic skins. Sometimes they remained mere torsos, lacking hands to grasp or feet to stand

"The best I can do, to describe my painting, is to relate this dream, since the experience is the same. After each work, I'm aware of having journeyed into a zone unknown to me, where everything is extraordinarily silent and comforting. And, at the same time, it is a violent revelation of the unknown. I also have the feeling that, after each work, a door closes and it will never open again."
Eventually, Henricot's mummified figures entered into relationships with other extraordinary beasts: cerberus hounds, winged erinys or pre-historic pterodactyls. Indeed, these species altered and evolved to the point where their anatomies miraculously expanded and combined. Henricot demonstrates an extraordinary imaginative capacity to meld the ossified structures of man and beast.
In this way, the timeless human figures move back and forward into ancient pre-history or the far-distant future. Regressing from antiquity to the arcane origins of our species, trilobyte fossils reflect the primordial symmetry of our own skeletal structure. Or, as fascinating anomalies in our human evolution, transparent human figures acquire pre-historic wings and miraculously take flight into the endless depths of time.


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