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IT
IT
1907
29 December: Maurice Charles Adolphe Henry is born in Cambrai, the son of Alice Cécile Marie Vallez, a lady from a middle-class background, and of Jean Marie Maurice Henry, a journalist.
His childhood in Douai is a happy one: he reads Les Pieds Nickelés and shows a keen interest in aviation pioneers, as well as in the ‘achievements’ of the anarchist group La bande à Bonnot. The tracking shot towards the moon in Melies’s film, Le Voyage dans la lune, scares him greatly.

Autoportrait

1914-1916
Exodus to Lille, where he is frightened by air bombings. The family goes back to Douai, to settle there. German invasion. Air raid alerts, aviators and civilians are wounded. Russian amputee prisoners howling, suicide of a German soldier who refuses to be sent back to the front. A German non-commissioned officer offers Maurice his first box of paints.
His secondary school years are spent in Douai, Paris, Chartres, Lille, Rennes, depending on the towns where his father edits newspapers. He draws his first pictures and writes poems as well. First caricature.

1917-1920
Paris, studies at the Lycée Condorcet. His father is first a reporter for Le Petit Journal, then the editor of a paper in Chartres, before becoming the regional editor-in-chief of L’Écho de Paris.
Maurice reads children’s magazines, L’Épatant, Les Belles Images, La Jeunesse illustrée, then more serious publications, such as the adventures of Le Vautour de la Sierra (Georges Clavigny’s French adaptation of The Chronicles of Don Q. by Kate O’Brien-Prichard and her son, Major Hesketh-Vernon Prichard, 1898), a hero who ultimately becomes a great war reporter.
Sleepwalking episodes.
He becomes a movie fan (The Exploits of Elaine, 1914, translated as Les Mystères de New York, 1915) and impersonates Charlie Chaplin or Sioux Indians. From the balcony of L’Écho de Paris, on the Place de l’Opéra, he watches the Victory parade with Joffre, Foch, Poincaré, Lloyd George, Wilson, Pershing, etc.

1921-1923
His father edits Le Télégramme du Nord in Lille, then La France de L’Ouest in Rennes and L’Indépendant in Cambrai. The family settles in Cambrai, where his father manages the United Cooperatives for the Reconstruction. During a trade fair, Maurice discovers the theatre with Œdipe Roi (Oedipus Rex), directed by Firmin Gémier, the promoter of the National Travelling Theatre. He is delighted by The Three Musketeers at the movie theatre.
An accomplished sportsman as well as a brilliant student of arts, he makes friends with Arthur Harfaux. It was to be a lifelong friendship. He sketches portraits of his friends and relatives and draws a lot.
Years of rebellion against the conformism of his bourgeois milieu.
A classmate, Robert Andrieu, the great-grandson of poet and politician Clovis Hughes, introduces him to Romantic poetry.

1924
Revelation of the Dada movement, thanks to reviews and an avant-garde journal, Paris-Journal. Reads numerous books on art and monographies, e.g. on Van Gogh and Picasso.

1925
L’Anthologie de la nouvelle poésie française is his introduction to modern poetry, from Lautréamont and Jarry, to Apollinaire and Tzara. He envisions his future as a painter and a poet. He rebels against his father who wants him to study for a Maths Baccalaureate degree to become a veterinarian in order to take over his recently founded poultry business. He discovers Surrealism with La Révolution surréaliste at a Cambrai bookshop.

Grand jeu

1926
A friend studying literature in Paris puts him in touch with Roger Vailland and René Daumal. They start exchanging letters. The meeting with this group of young poets and philosophers (‘The Simplists’) who are still high school students in Reims, will be crucial for him. With Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, they form the active core of what will become Le Grand Jeu (The Great Game) group. All of them dream of revolutionising reality, of extending the limits of consciousness.
Experiments with cocaine and ether.
He tries his hand at cartoons.

1927
After passing his baccalaureate, he enrols at university to study law, only to drop out a year later. He travels to Karlsbad to visit his aunt (his mother’s sister is married to a Jewish Czech who runs a spa resort), who will ultimately commit suicide when the Nazis invade Czechoslovakia (his uncle, Arthur Reichl, the director of the Kurhaus Lorbeerkranz in Karlsbad, is arrested by the Nazis when they invade the country and his aunt throws herself out of a window in front of her children).
He contributes poems to the Le Rouge et le Noir journal in Lille (issue No. 4, 1927) and makes friends with Pierre Brasseur, an actor.
With René Daumal, Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, Roger Vailland, and his childhood friend, Arthur Harfaux, whom he drags into the venture, he founds the Grand Jeu movement. The Czech poet Richard Weiner introduces them to a painter, Joseph Šima (1891-1971), a member of the Czech avant-garde who arrived in Paris in 1921 and hosts the small group in his studio. Thanks to Weiner, he starts to move in avant-garde circles and becomes acquainted with André Breton, Benjamin Péret, Louis Aragon, Roger Vitrac, Jacques Prévert, Robert Desnos...
He tries his hand at automatic writing and drawing.

1928
He founds the Grand Jeu journal with the young men from Reims. He contributes to the inaugural manifesto of the group with René Daumal and Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, providing a text ‘Discours du révolté’ (‘The Rebel Speech’) and several poems and drawings.
In order to make a living he becomes a journalist and an art and film critic.
Art and film critic career: Paris-Montparnasse (1928-1929), under the pseudonyms of Roland Camer for the art reviews, Eric Solva for films and Robert Narden for variety shows. He pens an enthusiastic article about Le Nègre, by Philippe Soupault, in Le Rouge et le Noir No. 6, in 1928.
Journals: Le Grand Jeu, Nos. 1, 2 and 3 (1928-1930), Red [Devetsil journal containing Czech translations of the texts] Nos. 1 and 2 (Prague, 1928-30).
He frequently goes out with Arthur Harfaux, now an assistant photographer for the Braun arts publishing house, René Daumal, a student in first year preparatory class at the Lycée Henri IV, Roger Vailland, a student following the same curriculum at the Lycée Louis le Grand, Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, a medical student, Pierre Minet, a vagabond poet, the Czech painter Josef Šima, the essayist Léon Pierre-Quint, an expert on Marcel Proust and André Gide, the Dutch writer Hendrick Cramer and his Russian wife Vera Milanova, later to become Daumal’s wife. Other acquaintances include the poet Richard Weiner and Adolf Hoffmeister, a caricaturist, both from Prague, as well as Jean Carrive and Monny de Boully, and the Serbian painter Dida de Mayo.
He plans a show with Pierre Brasseur and meets Roger Vitrac.
He writes poems for Yvonne George [2], the singer, and brings them into her artist’s dressing-room at the Bobino theatre, where he meets Robert Desnos.
Opium smoking at Gilbert-Lecomte’s.
He meets André Breton, Louis Aragon, Benjamin Péret, Marcel Duhamel, Jacques Prévert, Jacques Baron, Roland Tual, participates in the Surrealists’ scandals in the Théâtre Alfred Jarry, the Salle des sociétés savantes (Learned Societies conference room) and the Wagram theatre. He fails a second time in his law studies, attending only morning classes.

1929
Journalist, first as a sub-editor, then a reporter and illustrator for several papers, including Le Républicain du Nord (1929, 1931-1932, 1934), Le Petit Journal (1929-1937); Cinémonde (1929, 1936-1937, 1951), the Havas press agency, Pour vous and L’Humanité (1932,1933, 1936)...
He becomes friend with Mathias Lübeck (pseudonym of Robert Enoch), a Surrealist poet and painter.
Exhibition: Le Grand Jeu (Šima, Harfaux, Henry, Mayo, ‘Sculptures sauvages’ (‘savage sculptures’) at the Bonaparte gallery in Paris.
Art critic: Paris-Montparnasse, 15 July 1929. He presents the Grand Jeu exhibition under the pseudonym of Roland Cramer and writes an article on Šima, 15 December 1929.
Film critic: Le Républicain du Nord: he contributes to a regular film chronicle ‘Les films qui passent’ (‘Current films’). Cinémonde: ‘Les tragédiennes de l’amour’ (‘The love tragediennes’), No. 61, 19 December 1929. La Revue du cinéma.

Autoportrait

1930
Publishes articles and drawings.
Journals: Bifur No. 6, ‘À perpétuité’ (‘In Perpetuity’); Revue du cinéma Nos. 16, 18, 19 (1930-1931); contributes to the Czech journal Red (No. 8) in Prague. Scared by Roger Gilbert-Lecomte’s heroin addiction, he distances himself from the Grand Jeu group.

1931
He joins the Surrealists in the Association des Ecrivains et Artistes Révolutionnaires (A.E.A.R.) (Revolutionary Writers and Artists Society) and follows them when they join the Communist party.
Articles and drawings published:
Art critic: Les Cahiers du Sud Nos. 130, 131, 137 and 144 (Marseilles, 1931-1932).
Journals: Under the recommendation of Richard Weiner, he contributes reviews and anecdotes on the Paris artworld, Volne Smery (Prague, 1931-1935), November 1933 and during the whole of 1934.
Press: La Revue du cinéma, Le Coup de patte, Pour vous, l'Intransigeant (1931, 1935-1936)...

1932
End of the Grand Jeu. Disagreements with some members of the group, Roger Gilbert-Lecomte’s drug addiction and René Daumal’s interest in Indian mysticism prompt him to distance himself. He gets closer to the Surrealists and takes part in every publication, exhibition and happening of the group, including a series of experiments with Salvador Dali.
Art critic: ‘L’exposition Picasso’ (‘The Picasso Exhibition’), Les Cahiers du Sud, 1932.
Up till now, cartoons have been devoted to simple jokes targeting bourgeois daily life; Maurice Henry introduces unusual, dream-like qualities and elements of cruelty: this makes him the precursor of a macabre form, which becomes known as black humour after Breton publishes his Anthology of Black Humour. Cartoons help him make a living.
First press publications of his cartoons: Regards, Le Petit Journal (1932-1937) and of his political satirical pictures in Contre l'impérialisme, La Lutte antireligieuse et prolétarienne (1932-1933), Le Cahier des charges (1932-1933), L'Humanité (1932-1933, 1936).

Grand jeu 1933
At the beginning of 1933, he meets Régine Tortochot, who will become his wife. Beginning of a prolific artistic period, especially after taking part in the first Surrealist exhibition (Pierre Colle gallery, 1933). He publishes his drawings and poems in Le Surréalisme au service de la révolution.
Surrealist journals: Minotaure No. 3-4, contributes to the survey ‘Can you say what the most important encounter in your life was?’, Le Surréalisme au service de la révolution, No. 5/6, 15 May: ‘Ce que tu voudras’ (poem and illustration); takes part in the survey ‘Recherches expérimentales’, ‘À propos de l’expérimentation portant sur la connaissance irrationnelle des objets’; Violette Nozières, Brussels: Nicolas Flamel, a poem in the Surrealists’ collected works; Les Cahiers Jaunes No. 4, special issue ‘Cinéma 33’: Les abattoirs de la nuit (script).
Exhibition: Surrealist exhibition Sculptures-Objets-Peintures-Dessins, Pierre Colle gallery (Paris). Maurice Henry displays 9 pictures (Les Architectes; Le Voyageur fébrile; Triste, triste; Les dernières fouilles; Le Désastre imminent; Le Visible et l'invisible; Le Vernissage; L'Aurore après l'amour; Objet).
Press: Balzac, Le Menteur, Le Rire (1933-1939, 1946)...

1934
August, 25: marries Régine Tortochot, who will divorce him during WWII to later wed a Mr. Aubry.
Surrealist publication: Documents 34, special issue ‘Surrealist Intervention’, Brussels.
Press: Le Petit Journal illustré (1934-1936), La Presse (1934-1935), Vendémiaire (1934-1935), Almanach du Petit Journal (1934, 1939)...

1935
While still working as a cartoonist, journalist and film critic for the main French journals, he takes part in the Surrealists’ happenings.
Giacometti, recognizing his cartoons in Marianne, tells the Surrealists.
Exhibitions: Surrealist exhibition in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain); exhibition at Les Quatre-Chemins gallery, Paris (Surrealist drawings).
Art and film critic: Marianne (1935-1937-1939)
Press: Émancipation, Passe temps, La Vie parisienne, Syndicat des dessinateurs de journaux, Paris-Midi (1935-1936), Dimanche illustré (1935-1937), Vendredi (1935-1938), L’Écho familial (1935-1939)...

1936
Exhibitions: Surreal objects exhibition, Charles Ratton gallery (Paris): Maurice Henry displays ‘Hommage à Paganini’ (‘A tribute to Paganini’), a little violin dressed with a bandage.
 Publications: he provides a drawing, ‘Quand on a sommeil’ (‘When One Feels Sleepy’), for ‘Les Surréalistes à Paris’, a special issue of the Konkretion journal (Copenhagen-Oslo-Stockholm).
Contribution to Poesie and Prose Surrealist (1936): ‘The Bronze piano’.
Press: Aux écoutes..., Nouvelliste-Dimanche, Madame la Marquise, L’Auto, Le Hérisson, Sept, Consolation, Le Soleil, Electricité radio, Froufrou, Le Nouvelliste de Lyon, Le Petit Courrier, C'est Paris (1936-1937), Le Droit de vivre (1936-1937), Le Sourire (1936-1937), Les Nouvelles de Versailles (1936-1937), Ouest-éclair-Dimanche (1936-1937), La Flèche (1936-1937), Almanach François (1936, 1937, 1938), L'Os à moelle (1936-1940), Vu (1936-1937, 1940), L'Œuvre (1936-1942), Le Merle blanc (1936, 1947-1948)...

1937
Publication: Les Abattoirs du sommeil, (collection of poems dedicated to Régine), Sagesse publishing house, Tschann bookshop (Paris).
Exhibitions: International exhibition, Ginza gallery (Tokyo); Satire 37, Galerie de Paris. Provides an illustration for the programme booklet of Ubu enchaîné by Alfred Jarry, played by the Diable écarlate company at the Comédie des Champs Elysées.
Gives up written journalism and establishes himself as a cartoonist.
Press: Le Soleil, Lu, La Route des jeunes, La Tribune de l'Aube, L'Intransigeant, Paris-Loisirs, L'Abeille de Belleville, L'Echo d'Alger (1937-1939), Ridendo (1937-1939), Le Journal (1937, 1940-1941), Ce soir (1937, 1944-1945)...

1938
Car crash (he will hint at it in a drawing).
Publication: G.L.M. special issue, ‘Trajectoire du rêve’ (drawing: ‘Fête de bienfaisance. La pétrification s’annonça par une chute de neige’).
Exhibitions: Exposition internationale du surréalisme (he displays a dummy with its head clouded by cotton wool), Beaux-Arts gallery (Paris); Exposition internationale du surréalisme, Robert gallery (Paris).
Cinema: Maurice Henry is cast as an extra in Violons d’Ingres, a film directed by Jacques-B. Brunius before playing in Secrets de Paris, directed by Paul Gilson.
Art critic: Messidor (1938-1939).
Press: Le Nord-Est, L’Epatant, Le Petit Niçois, Messidor (1938-1939), Ici... Radio-Cité (1938-1939)...

1939
He becomes a member of the FIARI (Fédération Internationale de l'Art Révolutionnaire Indépendant (5), founded by André Breton and Léon Trotski the year before in Mexico.
This communist manifesto, libertarian, antifascist, against Stalinism, underscores the revolutionary vocation of arts and their necessary independence from States and political bodies.
Beyond his many occupations, he starts a script-writer, adapter and gagman career with Harfaux (Les Gagmen Associés/The United Gagmen), which will last some sixteen years. He is drafted as a male nurse and held prisoner in Alençon after the retreat.
Provides pictures to Le Canard enchaîné and papers and cartoons to Le Journal.
Gagman: L'Héritier des Mondésir, a film directed by Albert Valentin, starring Fernandel. Adaptation: Les Aventures du baron de Crac, starring Jacques Prévert, Jacques-B. Brunius, adapted from Hans Richter, directed by Jean Renoir (stopped owing to WWII).
Radio: Le dessin radiophonique, Radio-Cité.
Press: L'Indépendant, La Sarthe, Au grand air, Reflets, Almanach-agenda de la ménagère (1939), L’Os à moelle…

1940
Back to Paris, he is definitely discharged, thanks to Henri Jeanson, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Aujourd’hui.
Press: Le Petit Courrier, Aujourd’hui (1940-1941), La Semaine (1940-1941), Le Petit Parisien (1940-1941), La France au travail (1940-1941), L’Œuvre (1940-1943), Paris-Soir (1940-1943), Tout et Tout (1940-1943)...

1941
First personal exhibition: Le Rêve et le Rire, La Peau de chagrin Gallery, introduced by Jean Cocteau. First client of Pablo Picasso, of whom Henry is a dedicated friend.
Lyric writer: La Chanson du solitaire, music by Jean Wiener.
Press: Notre cœur, Le Fait, Le Matin, La Brisure, L'Atelier (1941-1942), Paris-Midi (1941-1942), Le Rouge et le Bleu (1941-1942), Paris toujours (1941-1942), La France socialiste (1941-1943), Chantiers (1941-1944)...
Gagman: Nous les gosses, directed by Louis Daquin.

1942
His father dies.
Journal: Contributes to La Conquête du monde par l’image, La Main à plume.
Adapter: La Nuit fantastique, directed by Marcel L'Herbier. See comments in Cinémonde.
Gagman: Ne le criez pas sur les toits, directed by Jacques Daniel-Norman, starring Fernandel; Défense d'aimer, directed by Richard Pottier; La Chèvre d'or, directed by René Barberis; L'Honorable Catherine, directed by Marcel L'Herbier; Madame et le mort, directed by Louis Daquin, written by Marcel Aymé, adapted from Pierre Véry; Signé illisible, directed by Christian Chamborant; L’indésirable, Au petit bonheur.
Press: Jeunesse, Comœdia, La Correspondance de presse...

1943
Gagman: La Flûte magique, an animated movie by Paul Grimault; Messieurs Ludovic, directed by Jean-Paul Le Chanois; Coups de tête, directed by René Le Hénaff, adapted from Roland Dorgelès; Je suis avec toi.
Adapter (aborted projects): Tigris, adapted from Marcel Allain; Jupiter, directed by Roland Tual, adapted from Robert Boissy (completed in 1952 by Gilles Grangier).
Press: Ciné mondial, Jeune Force, Panorama, Demain, Lectures pour vous (1943-1944)...

1944
Exclusive cartoonist for Combat, edited by Albert Camus and Pascal Pia.
Press: Combat (1944-1950), Masques, La Patrie, Ce soir (1944-1945), Temps présent (1944-1946), Franc-Tireur (1944-1945, 1950-1953, 1958)...
Script writer: 120, rue de la Gare, directed by Jacques-Daniel Norman, adapted from Léo Malet.

1945
Collective murals at Sainte-Anne psychiatric hospital.
Book: Les Mystères de I'Olympe, Paris: SEMP), children literature.
Gagman: Madame et son flirt, directed by Jean de Marguenat; Étrange destin, directed by Louis Cuny.
Publication: Reflexions on comic films: ‘Sources du comique au cinéma’, L'Âge d'or.
Extra: Le Roy d'Ys, an opera by Édouard Lalo and Édouard Blau, at the Opéra Garnier.
Film critic: Le Pays (1945-1948), L'Écran français (1945-1947).
Illustrates ‘Le Minotaure’, an editorial by Roger Cornaille, and designs the shop sign of this famous bookshop devoted to cinema.
Press: Soirées de Paris, Horizons de France, L'Armor libre, Gavroche, Volontés, Jeunesse, Fraternité, Sans plus, Constellation, Concorde, Votre chance, Cité-Soir, L'Aurore, Cadet, Combat-Magazine, Sciences et Voyages, Eclats de rire, Mer et Colonies, La Bonne Humeur, L'Aurore, La Presse de France, Action (1945-1946), Spectateur (1945-1946), Le Pays-Dimanche / Paysage-Dimanche (1945-1946), La Rue (1945-1946), Action (1945-1946), L'Os libre (1945-1946), Minerve (1945-1946), Force ouvrière (1945-1946), Aéro-revue (1945-1946), Ambiance (1945-1946), Terre des hommes (1945-1946), Le Pays (1945-1948), Les Lettres françaises (1945-1947), L'Ecran français (1945-1948), Noir et Blanc (1945-1958), Ici-Paris (1945-1947, 1950, 1954, 1956-1957)...

1946
Gives lectures on cinema.
Publication: Les Paupières de verre (poems), Fontaine: Paris.
Sets and costumes design: Marianne 4e gauche, Les Deux Ânes theatre (Paris).
Gagman: Au petit bonheur, directed by Marcel L'Herbier, written by Françoise Giroud; Parade sportive, a cartoon movie by Walt Disney.
Press: La Dépêche démocratique, Juin, Pour tous films, Le Canari, Paris-Matin, Ploum Ploum, Fantasia, Le Courrier de l'étudiant, Pour tous, Tour à tour, La Question du jour, Lectures de Paris, Joie, Les Pieds dans le plat, Les Nouvelles littéraires (1946-1947), Jean-Bart (1946-1947), Samedi-Soir (1946-1948, 1951-1956)...

Autoportrait
1947
Group exhibition: Maeght Gallery (87 artists from 24 countries: Brauner, Calder, Donati, Duchamp, Ernst, Giacometti, Gorky, Lam, Matta, Miro, Picabia, Man Ray and Tanguy) Paris. Publication: Le Surréalisme, in 1947 ?
Denise Precheur, a young actress, becomes his partner, after Régine has left him.
He gives a lecture, on 27 October, at the IDHEC (Institut Des Hautes Etudes Cinématographiques / Institute for Advanced Cinematographic Studies) on comic in films, with Arthur Harfaux, and an introduction to the Festival du gag, on 13 December, at the musée de l’Homme.
Script writer (with Artur Harfaux): Les Aventures des Pieds Nickelés, directed by Marcel Aboulker, adapted from Louis Forton; Par la fenêtre, directed by Gilles Grangier, starring Bourvil.
Press: Le Drapeau rouge, Le Pays, Quarte et Trois, Paris des arts et des lettres, Le Patriote de Nice, La Revue de la danse (1947-1948), Le Merle blanc (1947-1948), Paris Presse-L'Intransigeant (1947-1948, 1952), France-Dimanche (1947-1948, 1951, 1954-1958), Carrefour (1947-1965)…

Autoportrait 1948
Contributes to the 25 November pamphlet announcing the exclusion of Matta: ‘Le cadavre exclus ne boira pas le vin nouveau’ (a drawing).
Member of the jury for the Grand prix du court métrage.
Adapter and dialogue writer: Les Souvenirs ne sont pas à vendre, an anthology film directed by Robert Hennion.
Graphic author: Histoire d'un sauvetage, an animated film about the Marshall Plan.
Surrealist journal: Néon.
Press: Le Libertaire, Marie-France, Constellation, La Bataille (1948-1950) Une semaine dans le monde (1946, 1948-1954-1955), Le Journal du dimanche (1948-1949, 1957-1958, 1963), Le Foyer rural (1948, 1955-1961)...

1949
Supporter of Garry Davis, World Citizen (together with Breton, see Combat…)
Script and dialogue writer (with Arthur Harfaux): Bibi Fricotin, directed by Marcel Blistène, adapted from Louis Forton, starring Maurice Baquet.
Script and direction of a 20-minute short film: Rondo sur la piste, starring his favourite actor Maurice Baquet as the title character, a press photographer for a major weekly paper.
Stage director (with Yves Mirande): Le Petit Café, by Tristan Bernard, at the Théâtre Antoine (Paris), starring Bernard Blier.
Press: Caliban (1949-1950), La Vie catholique illustrée (1949-1957), Radar (1949-1950, 1954-1958), Paris-Match (1949-1955, 1958-1959, 1961-1963, 1967).

1950
First meeting with Ruth, born Kathe Ruth Kühne, on 2 March 1925 in Frankenthal (Germany), deceased on 19 October 2007 in Auxerre (Yonne, France).
Publication: L’Almanach du demi-siècle, a collection of sketches of the main Surrealist characters’ portraits.
Press: France-Soir, Réalités, Adam, Pan, Opéra, Ce Matin, Le Pays, Mon programme, Lectures pour tous (1950-1965), L'Observateur (1950), France-Observateur (1953-1964, 1968), Le Figaro / Le Figaro littéraire (1950-1968)...

1951
The introduction of Michel Carrouges, a catholic activist, by André Breton in the Surrealists’ group induces a revolt led by Henri Pastoureau, joined by several opponents, among them Patrick Walberg and Maurice Henry.
Script and dialogues: Actualités Grenier-Hussenot, Chez Gilles cabaret (Paris)
Advertisment: Posters for the Loterie nationale.
Press: Ciné-Coulisses, Almanach Cinémonde 1951, Jazz Hot (1951-1954), Témoignage chrétien (1951, 1954-1956), Elle (1951, 1954-1955, 1957-1961, 1966, 1968)…

Autoportrait 1952
Meets with Ruth Kühne while she’s staying in France at Mimi Parent and Jean Benoit’s.
Press: Productivité française, Relais (1952-1953), La Presse (1952-1954)…

1953
Ruth leaves Heidelberg (Germany) to spend several months in France.
Gagman: La Route Napoléon, directed by Jean Delannoy, dialogues by Antoine Blondin.
Press: Semaine du monde (1953-1955), La Vie catholique (1953-1961), BP revue (1953-1964), Humour revue (1953-1954), Auto-Journal (1953-1954), Tout (1953, 1957), Paris-Presse (1954-1956, 1958), Divertissements (1953, 1961), La Vie catholique (1953, 1955-1961), Arts (1953-1955, 1965), Le Crapouillot (1953-1954, 1956, 1958-1959, 1961-1962, 1964, 1967), France observateur / L'Observateur (1953-1968)…

1954
Ruth breaks up with her husband, Ulrich Conrads, to follow Maurice Henry to Paris.
Gagman: Poisson d'avril, directed by Gilles Grangier, starring Bourvil and De Funès.
Press: Revue ABZ, Semaine du monde, Revue des tabacs, Marius, Semaine du Nord, L'Optimiste, Le Hérisson, La Presse (1954-1955), Témoignage chrétien (1954, 1956), Actualité littéraire (1954, 1956-1957)…

1955
Marries Ruth. The marriage witnesses are Mimi Parent and Jean Benoit.
Photographer: a fan of photography, he displays his works in New York and wins the second prize of the global contest ‘Popular Photography’. His photographs will later be displayed in Rochester, Amsterdam and Milan.
Publication: Les Métamorphoses du vide (started in 1951), Paris: Minuit.
Press: L'Express
(1955-1956), Le Consommateur français (1955-1957), Le Foyer rural (1955-1959), L'Express (1955-1957, 1960), France-Soir (1955, 1958, 1960), Bizarre (1955-1957, 1960, 1964), La Vie des métiers (1955-1959, 1963, 1965), Lectures pour tous (1955-1958, 1963, 1965)…

Autoportrait

1956
Stays in Vallauris, near Antibes and Cannes, on the Mediterranean, where Picasso teaches him ceramics and pottery.
Press: La Manche libre, Clair foyer, Revue des United States Lines, France via French Line, La Mercerie pratique, Le Petit Echo de la mode (1956-1957), Le Dauphiné libéré (1956-1957), Le Centre-Dimanche (1956-1957), La Pharmacie française (1956-1957), Le Bled (1956-1957), Le Patriote illustré (1956-1958), Shell-revue (1956-1958), Lorraine-magazine (1956-1957, 1959-1960), Revue France-URSS (1956, 1960-1961), La Voix du Nord (1956-1957, 1963-1965, 1968-1970)…

1957
Member of the Jazz academy.
Member of the academy Charles Cros, which awards music records prizes.
Member of the programmes committee of the French Radio-Television.
Decorates medical centers in Aubervilliers and Nogent-sur-Marne (250 metres).
Press: Le Mineur de la Loire, Bonjour, Contacts électriques, Plaisir de la chasse, Paris-Journal, La Vie du rail, L'Echo de la mode, Détective (1957-1958), Lectures pour tous (1957-1958 et 1962-1964), Point de vue-Images du monde (1957, 1967-1970)…

1958
Produces a poster for the UGS (Union de la Gauche Socialiste), against the 28 September 1958 referendum launched by De Gaulle.
Publications: Vive la fuite, Pierre Horay: Paris; A bout portant. 85 portraits charges littéraires, with a foreword by Raymond Queneau, Paris: Gallimard.
Press: Nuit et Jour, L'Arche, Le Journal des mouches, La Vie des métiers, La Nef (1958-1959), Science et Vie (1958-1962)…

Autoportrait

1959
Publication: A tort et à raison, Micrologies collection, Jean-Jacques Pauvert: Paris.
Stage sets: Les Vacances de Brutus, for the French television, Paris.
Press: La Revue de l'ameublement, Les Lettres nouvelles, Air-France revue, Actualité littéraire, Miroir de l'histoire, La Joie de lire, Mineurs de France, Les Lettres nouvelles (1959-1960), Rallye-Jeunesse (1959-1961)...

1960
‘La peinture, c'est la poésie qui a pris une autre forme’ (Milan).
First ripplings (paper sculptures): ‘Réflexion faite’.
Press: Icare, Marie-France, Télé-Radio, Esprit, Télé pour vous, Arts, Actualité littéraire, La Vie ouvrière, Haute société, Rivarol, Les Parisiens (1960-1961), Pilote (1960-1962), L'Action automobiliste et touristique (1960-1963), Télé 7 jours (1960, 1963-1964)…

1961
Publications: Maurice Henry 1930-1960, Paris: Jean-Jacques Pauvert.
Les 32 positions de l'androgyne, Paris: Jean-Jacques Pauvert.
Press: Vente et Vendeurs, Le Pélerin, Rallye jeunesse, Almanach Radio Télé Luxembourg / Télérama (1961-1962)…

1962
Press: Almanach du Pèlerin, L'Information artistique, Télé-Magazine, Cinéma 62, Almanach de Radio-Luxembourg 1962…

1963
Sets and costumes: But, a ballet by Michel Descombay, music by Jacques Castarède, Théâtre national de l’Opéra de Paris.
Advertisement: ‘Les Fatigués’, Toulouse: Parcor.
Press: Vie et Langage…

1964
Meets Elda Zenatti (born on 1st June 1929) in Albano Terme (a spa resort in Italy).
Exhibition: Le Surréalisme, Charpentier gallery, Paris.
Press: Sauvegarde, L'Action, Plaisir de France, Eclats de rire (1964-1967), Positif No. 61/63, June (a contribution to the ‘Survey on Erotism in the movies’ / ‘Enquête sur l'érotisme au cinéma’)...

1965
Press: Marie-Claire, Air France revue, Planète (1965, 1967-1968)…
Exhibition: Le Petit Incendiaire, artist’s book-box, Mat Mot/Karl Gerstner and Daniel Spoerri, Gallery der Spiegel (Cologne). Text by Maurice Henry, inside the lid, translated in German by Daniel Spoerri and in English by Emmet Williams.

1966
Breaks up with Ruth.
Stage sets: Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, a ballet by H. Manniegel, music by Benjamin Britten at the Städtische Bühne, Heidelberg (Germany).
Argument and costumes: Chair amie, a ballet by Graziella Martinez, music by Charlie Mingus, American Center in Paris.

He spends the sixties conducting intense activities, travelling all around the world to display his works in major cities.
He discovers Italy and is attracted by the artistic fervor he can feel there, which makes him set his studio in Milan.
Works: Pictures, lithographs, ripplings, objects: ‘poème à jeter au panier’ (1966)
Press: Cent blagues, La Quinzaine littéraire (1966-1967), Panorama (1966-1968), Plexus (1966-1969), Almanach de Télé 7 jours 1967…

1967
Honorary member of the Société Protectrice de l’Humour, founded by Jean-Pierre Desclozeaux.
Press: Harmonie (1967-1972)…

1968
He leaves aside his cartoonist career to devote himself to painting. Settles in Milan and spends his time between Italy and France. Exhibitions in major galleries, such as Marconi and Annunciata (Milan), Il Traghetto (Venice) and Viotti (Turin). Socialises with Italian artists and makes friends with Arturo Schwarz (03/02/1924), above all others. Schwarz, an outstanding Italian art historian, essayist, writer and poet, owns a gallery featuring the artwork of the Surrealists (Arp, Brauner, Duchamp, Max Ernst, Miro…). It is a meeting place for the most prominent artists from the new generations. One can guess the remarkable and intimate understanding of Maurice Henry by Arturo Schwarz in the catalogues the latter writes for the above exhibitions.
Publication: Points de repère, autobiographic gatefold leaflet.
Press: La Grive, La Montagne (1968-1970), Le Progrès de Lyon (1968-1970), La France (1968-1969, 1979)…

oeuvres 1969
Publications: Hors mesures (poems and engravings), Eric Losfeld, Paris.
‘Miniantologie’ (poems composed from 1926 to 1951), Morphèmes No. 17, Paris: Morphèmes.
Exhibition: La Pochade, boulevard St-Germain (Paris), to advertise the publication of a special issue, a Cahier devoted to the ‘Grand Jeu’ by L’Herne publishing house.
Press: Le Républicain Lorrain, Chez nous, Charlie mensuel (1969-1970), Midi Libre (1969-1970), Le Monde (1969-1979), Hara-Kiri (1965-1966, 1968-1970), Le Courrier de l'Ouest (1969-1970), Sud-Ouest (1967, 1969-1970), Le Monde (1969-1970), La Nouvelle République (1969-1979)…

1970
Press: La Dépêche du Midi, Chroniques de l'art vivant, Liberté-Dimanche, Le Dauphiné- Dimanche, Le Miroir du fantastique...

1971
Publication: Antologia grafica del Surrealismo, Mazzotta (Milan). Introducing the Surrealist graphic designers.

1972
Press: Opus international, Harmonies (1972-1973)

1973
Exhibition: Great personal exhibition, Sala Civica in Modena City Hall (Italy).
Publication: Maurice Henry. 40 ans de dessins, Paris: Jean-Jacques Pauvert/Livre de Poche.

1974
He is awarded the Prix de la Société Protectrice de l’Humour et du prix d’humour of the city of Avignon.
Exhibition: Gérard Guerre gallery, Hôtel des Laurens in Avignon (summers 1974 and 1976). Press: Promesses...

1975
Grand Prix de l'humour noir Grandville (Grandville Black Humour Grand Prize), dedicated to cartoonists.
Exhibition: Curiosités. 40 inédits de Maurice Henry, La Galère gallery (Paris).

1976
Exhibitions: Retrospective at the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels (Belgium); Froissures et Grimaces, exhibition in his studio, via S. Agnese, 8, Milan.

1977
Exhibition: Le Sourire de la mort, gallery II Castello, Milan.

1978
Press: Le Fou parle (1978-1981)

1979
Publications: Voyages du rêveur, Albin Michel: Paris; Gags (album collecting 3-picture comic strips published in Le Figaro along the 1950s), Paris: Pierre Horay.
Having lived separated from Ruth for fifteen years, he can get a divorce, which she has refused till then, thanks to a new law, on 4 July 1979. On 5 November 1979, he marries Elda, with Jean-Pierre Desclozeaux and Marc Thivolet as their witnesses.

1980
During the 1980s, Maurice Henry is acknowledged as a major international artist, he takes part in meetings, debates and interviews organised par by the main European TV channels.
Exhibitions: Marion Mayer gallery (Paris); Zannettacci gallery (Geneva).

1982
He is awarded the Grand prix national des arts graphiques by Jack Lang, the French minister of Culture.

1983
Publication : L'Adorable Cauchemar (written in 1927), La Louvière, Daily-Bul (Belgium).

1984
21 October 1984, Maurice Henry dies from a heart failure.

1991
Exhibition: Maurice Henry. A cura di Arturo Schwarz, galleria d’Arte Bergamo, Mazzotta.

1993
Exhibition: Maurice Henry. A cura di Arturo Schwarz, Palazzo Bandera, Padiglione storico, Modern Art Gallery, Busto Arsisio, Mazzotta.

1996
‘Maurice Henry, dessinateur surréaliste’, Christian Delporte, Gavroche No. 87-88, May-August, 1996.

1997
Monograph: Maurice Henry, La Révolte, le rêve et le rire, Nelly Feuerhahn, Somogy, Paris.
Exhibition: Belfond gallery ‘Maurice Henry. Rétrospective’, set by IMEC, La Galerie, rue Guénégaud (Paris).

1998
Exhibition: ‘Maurice Henry. Œuvres surréalistes et livres’ (14/05-26/06/1998), Galerie 1900-2000, Paris.
Catalogue: Maurice Henry ou l’Adorable cauchemar by Edouard Jaguer.

1999
Exhibition: Maurice Henry, a retrospective, Centre international de Poésie gallery (April 1999), Marseilles.
Catalogue: Le Cahier du Refuge No. 74.

2002
Exhibition: L’Entrée du royaume souterrain est ici. Artür Harfaux et Maurice Henry autour du Grand Jeu (26/04-02/09/2002), Museum of Fine Arts, Tourcoing. Curator: Johanna Szarzynski.
Catalogue: Maurice Henry ou l’adorable cauchemar, by Edouard Jaguer.

2003
Exhibition: Grand Jeu et surréalisme, Reims Paris Prague, Museum of Fine Arts (Reims).
Catalogue: Le sourire de la mort. Maurice Henry et le Grand Jeu, Nelly Feuerhahn, Grand Jeu et surréalisme. Reims, Paris, Prague (18/12/2003-29/03/2004), Ludion, 2003.

2005
Exhibition: Göppingen (Germany).

2008
‘Maurice Henry, dessinateur des droits du rêve’, Nelly Feuerhahn, Supérieur inconnu, special issue on the dreamed life, Spring-summer 2008.
Exhibition: Maurice Henry. Sans paroles (14 nov.), Studio Ghiglione, Palazzo Doria, Gênes. Curator: Guido Peruz.
Bilingual catalogue French-Italian, reduplication: Maurice Henry. L’humour, une vision surréaliste de la vie (Nelly Feuerhahn) and ‘Maurice Henry. Humour noir’ (Michele Caldarelli, da Scienza No. 85, 1985).



2009
Exhibitions: Maurice Henry, a retrospective. Une poétique de l’humour / A poetics of humour (04/12/2009-14/03/2010) galleria Gruppo Credito Valtellinese. Refettorio delle Stelline. Curator: Dominique Stella, with Guido Peruz.
Bilingual catalogue (French-Italian) of the Maurice Henry. Une poétique de l’humour exhibition (texts by Daniel Abadie, Georges Fall, Nelly Feuerhahn, Alain Jouffroy, Arturo Schwarz and Dominique Stella), Milano, Gruppo Credito Valtellinese foundation.

2011
Exhibition: Surreal Objects, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (Germany).

2013
Exhibition: Maurice Henry. Paris-Milan, the voyage of a Surrealist, Orenda Art International (18/06-25/05/2013, Paris) and Cortina Arte (08/10-02/11/2013, Milan).
Bilingual catalogue by Suzanne Capolongo and Stefano Cortina. Foreword by Jean Cocteau, reprinted from Le Rêve et le Rire, exhibition in La Peau de chagrin gallery, April 1941, Paris. Photographs by Vittorio Pigazzini.
Private publishing: Maurice Henry, le rose et l’Italie. Aux sources d’une inspiration, by Nelly Feuerhahn.

2016
Exhibition: Ultima Cena, curator Guido Peruz, Villa Burba Corte Rustica (VE) ; L’Arte del sorriso, curator 'A. d’Avossa, including the Guido Peruz Collection and the Archivio Maurice Henry Collection, Ghiffa (VB).

2018
Publication: new edition of Métamorphoses du vide, Du Sandre: Paris, including the Points de repère booklet (1967) and two essays, ‘Maurice Henry, rêveur des Métamorphoses du Vide’, by Nelly Feuerhahn and ‘Métamorphoses du vide, métamorphoses du livre’, by Jacques Desse.

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References

[1] Catherine Faivre-Zellner, Firmin Gémier. Héraut du théâtre populaire. « Chapitre IV. Le Théâtre National Ambulant Gémier », Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2006. p. 89-120.

[2] Audrey Coudevylle-Vue, Fréhel et Yvonne George, muses contrastées de la chanson « réaliste » de l’entre-deux-guerres, Université de Valenciennes- Lille Nord de France, thèse, 2016, 875p.

[3] Rencontre avec Ruth, née Kathe Ruth Kühne, le 2 mars 1925 à Frankenthal (Allemagne), décédée le 19 octobre 2007 a Auxerre (Yonne). Séparés en 1966.

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