Richard Howard

  • Henri Michaux, Untitled (mescaline drawing), 1956, india ink on paper, 12 5/8 x 9 7/16".

    Richard Howard on Henri Michaux

    IN THE DECADE BETWEEN 1956 and 1966, Henri Michaux, who had been publishing verse, prose, and drawings since 1927, produced six little books concerning his experiences with mescaline and other, mostly psychedelic, drugs. Several of these volumes, including this first one, are “illustrated” by the author’s astonishing drawings, which frequently afford a more direct account than his discursive writing of the exploratory voyages Michaux inveterately undertook beginning in the late ’20s. These brief texts, often (as in the case of Miserable Miracle) written during the experiments with mescaline and

  • Dorothea Tanning

    Last year the Philadelphia Museum of Art purchased Dorothea Tanning’s Birthday, 1942, an early self-portrait in which the bare-breasted, bramble-skirted heroine, accompanied by an apparently benevolent minidragon (first of the animal demiurges so often inhabiting the artist's future paintings), stands with her hand on the knob of a white door in an infinite regress of half-open portals. This acquisition has now been celebrated by curator Ann Temkin with a small show of paintings, objects, and drawings from Tanning’s long career, “a hidden treasure of modern art,” concluding with one of the dozen

  • The art that inspired them in 2000

    Those of us who live and breathe contemporary art will hold to the idea that art does change, if not the world, then the way we live in it. But our “world” can be more insular than we care to admit. So to open our look back at 2000, we asked twenty-one “outsiders” we admire—from novelist J.G. Ballard to musician John Zorn—to tell us about the art that inspired them this year.

    Dave Eggers (novelist)

    About a year ago, I saw Marcel Dzama’s stuff in zingmagazine and fell madly in love. Then his show at David Zwirner just killed me. A hundred or so drawings (bears with handguns, whale-men


    Take it down Tear it up Turn it over Make

    it new out of old makings:

    exert what that venerable scatterbrain

    in Weimar once called the Power

    of Pulling Yourself Together whereby

    the master is first revealed.

    Exposed is more like it: shown for what you are.

    Porcelain! If a watched pot never boils, what

    happens to a pulverized one?

    These are not heroic fragments, nothing here

    inherently shapely! No

    identifiable vessel remains: you

    picked up the pieces all

    over the place and laid them down again

    according to your own ragged politics

    of reaching and retracting, no

    better than breathing really, putting