Michel Haas was born in Paris in 1934. He is an alert, spry and discreet character with a great capacity for surprise. When not painting he likes to observe and assimilate the material for his work from the spectacle of men and the city. His painting seems to come out of a more remote period, redolent as it is of rock art, resembling as it does corroded fragments of frescoes bearing the bruises of history. This timeless painting, this art which gets deep inside images and makes them almost physical, poses one constant question: what is this metamorphosis that images undergo when they become painting? To paint is to enter into a process in which we have to trawl figures out of the depths of the unconscious, until they are vividly present. Using simple materials such as water, charcoal and glue,
Haas’s technique has evolved from the fluidity and transparency of the early works to a kind of relief which solidifies and inscribes the forms deeper and deeper into the texture of the paper.
Haas’s painting is quite distinct from that of most other contemporary movements, whether the new figurative mode of the School of London, American Abstract Expressionism or French Figuration Libre.