Skip to main content
← Back to List

ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2021

Mescaline Drawing, 1957

Henri Michaux (b. 1899-1984)

Beyond the threshold

  • Medium:
    Ink on paper
  • Dimensions:
    31.75 × 24.1 cm
  • Collection:
    The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)
  • Coll. No:

Click above to view a short film of co-curators Katherine George, Nina Ledwoch and Margherita Dosi Delfini and artist Linda Karshan in her studio in London discussing her work in relation to Henri Michaux's 'Mescaline Drawing'.

Henri Michaux drew these hypnotising patterns while he was under the influence of mescaline, a psychedelic drug derived from the San Pedro cactus which causes visual hallucinations. Michaux’s drawing looks like a map of the artist’s mind as he enters into a new altered state of consciousness. The artist used mescaline to broaden his senses and explore his unconscious mind in the hope of accessing new forms of artistic expression.

To read an essay on automatism, freedom, poetry and drawing in relation to Michaux’s mescaline drawings by co-curator Nina Ledwoch, visit pages 60-63 of the Catalogue.