William S. Burroughs
Rx Morphine at Dawn, 1989
As a major figure of 20th century literature and brilliant inventor of the cut-up technique, William S. Burroughs earned himself iconic status in American counter-culture and his influence extends way beyond the world of literature. Dedicating the last fifteen years of his life almost exclusively to painting, he began experimenting as early as 1982, in a number of different directions: first of all the “Shotgun paintings”, then his “Combine paintings”, associating collage, stencils, ink drawing, spray paint and painting.
True to his non-conformist thinking, Burroughs painted outside any tradition or established set of rules and applied the paint with what he found around him such as plungers or mushrooms… as well as using unusual supports: cardboard folders, doors… Automatic works, random processes and found materials, the artists practice is shot through with shamanistic thought and is porous to the influence of invisible and magical worlds.
At the end of his life, he enjoyed a retrospective of his work at the LACMA in 1996. He was exhibited at the ZKM in Karlsruhe in 2012, the photographer’s Gallery in London in 2014, at Semiose gallery and at the Centre Pompidou during the exhibition Beat Generation in 2016, and will be shown at the CCCB in Barcelona in 2018.