<strong>Brion Gysin</strong> in front of his installation <em>Dreamachine</em>. Photo: © Harold Chapman, courtesy of TopFoto.<strong>Brion Gysin</strong>, <em>Pals popping out of windows</em>, 1975. Ink, gouache and photographic collage on paper, 174 x 275 cm.<strong> Brion Gysin</strong>, <em>Calligraffiti of Fire </em>(installation concept), 1985. Oil on canvas (in ten panels), 130 x 1640 cm.


Chili Hawes, Director, October Gallery, with Brion Gysin before the opening of Brion Gysin: Paintings, October Gallery, 1981.
Photo: © Brian Beresford.
Brion Gysin, Nocturene, 1968.
Ink and paint on card, 18 x 25 cm.

A visual artist, writer, performer and cultural visionary, Gysin introduced his lifelong friend, writer William S. Burroughs, to the techniques of cut-ups and permutation. Together, they experimented in sound and image, using collage, tape recorder, light painting, writing and film. They co-authored Third Mind, the term they also used for their creative collaborations. Gysin began his career as a painter in Paris, studying at Sorbonne and in 1935, was exhibited with Picasso, Arp, Bellmer, Brauner, de Chirico, Dali, Duchamp, Max Ernst, Magritte, Miro, Man Ray, Tanguy at Galerie Quatre Chemins, Paris. He then left for New York in 1939. During World War II he studied Japanese and worked as a codebreaker. Japanese and Arabic calligraphy, influenced Gysin’s style of word/image glyphs. Paul Bowles invited him to Tangier, where Gysin remained for twenty-five years. Gysin lived and worked in Paris until his death in 1986.

In the '60s, Gysin created the Dreamachine, which he described as ‘the only work of art designed to be seen with closed eyes’, and a ‘drugless psychedelic experience’. October Gallery first showed Gysin in 1981. In 2009, his solo exhibition featured Gysin’s 16.4-metre-long painting, Calligraffiti of Fire, his magnum opus and final work, and in 2015, October Gallery presented Unseen Collaborator. Gysin’s works are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; City of Paris Museum of Modern Art, Paris, France; and numerous private collections. His first USA retrospective was held at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York in June 2010.

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View below for career highlights and works for sale by the artist.







Born in 1916, Taplow, UK. Died in 1986, Paris, France.
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2015   Unseen Collaborator, October Gallery, London, UK
2013   Brion Gysin, Galerie Delacroix, Tangier, Morocco
Brion Gysin, Musée des Beaux-Arts et d'Archéologie, Besançon, France 
2011   Brion Gysin – Alarme, Galerie de France, Paris, France
2010    Brion Gysin: Dream Machine, New Museum, New York, USA
Brion Gysin: Dream Machine, Institut d’Art Contemporain, Villeurbanne, France 
2009    Calligraffiti of Fire, October Gallery, London, UK
2006    Brion Gysin, Galerie Didier Devillez, Brussels, Belgium
2000    Brion Gysin; I am that I am, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Canada
1999    Brion Gysin; I am that I am, Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, Canada
1998    Brion Gysin; I am that I am, The Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton, Canada
1994    Guillaume Galloxzzi Gallery, New York, USA
1993    Espace Electra, Paris, France
1991    Caen, Lyon, Grenoble, France
1986    Brion Gysin, calligraphies, permutations, cut ups, Galerie de France, Paris, France 
Galerie SamyKinge, Paris, France
1985    Tower Lajeski Gallery, New York, USA
1982    Meda Mothi Gallery, Montpellier, France
1981    October Gallery, London, UK
1979    Galerie Von Bartha, Basel, Switzerland
1976    Galerie Mollet-Villeville, Paris, France
1975    Galerie Germain, Paris, France Galerie Galerie Yvy, Geneva, Switzerland
1973    Galerie Weiller, Paris, France
1970    Tangier Galery, Tangiers, Morocco
1963    Helena Rubinstein Salon, Paris, France
Tangier Gallery, Tangiers, Morocco
1961    Galleryia Trastevere, Rome, Italy
1959    Library of the Kokutoubia, Marrakesh, Morocco
1958    Library of the Kokutoubia, Marrakesh, Morocco
1957    Sagittarius Gallery, New York, USA
Dunbar Gallery, Chicago, USA
Sagittarius Gallery, Rome, Italy
1953    Rembrandt Hotel, Tangiers. Morocco
1939    Galerie Aux Quatre Chemins, Paris, France

Selected Group Exhibitions
2022   Nomadic Resonance, October Gallery, London, UK
2020   Scrivere Disegnando, Centre d'Art Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland
Beat Re-Generation, featuring Jean-Michel Alberola, Loeve & Co, Paris, France 
2019   Dream No Small Dream: Celebrating 40 Years of the Transvangarde, October Gallery, London, UK
2017   Galeristes, Carreau du Temple, Paris, France
1977, L'Onde - Théâtre et centre d'art, Vélizy-Villacoublay, France
SoixanteDixSept, Quand Rossellini Filmait Beaubourg, Le Ferme du Buisson, Noisiel, France 
Art Paris, Grand Palais with  Galerie Véronique Smagghe, Paris, France 
2016   Galeristes, Carreau du Temple, Paris, France
Beat Generation, ZKM/Musuem für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe, Germany
FIAC, Grand Palais, Paris, France with Galerie Frank Elbaz, Paris, France
Beat Generation, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France 
2015   Tout ne tient qu’à un fil, Galerie de France, Paris, France
Le Mot et la Chose, Galerie Nathalie Seroussi, Paris, France 
2014   35 Years of Transvangarde, October Gallery, London, UK
William S. Burroughs: Can you all hear me?, October Gallery, London, UK
Witnessing Visions, Ubu Gallery, New York, USA
Sed Tantum dic Verbo (Just say the Word), Blain|Southern, Berlin, Germany 
2013    Masters of the Transvangarde, October Gallery, London, UK
William S. Burroughs Rètrospective, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany 
2012    the name is BURROUGHS, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany
Marché de Noël, Galerie de France, Paris, France
FIAC, Grand Palais with Galerie Le Minotaure, Paris, France 
2011    Salon du Dessin, Palais de la Bourse, Paris, France
Le Nouveau Festival - 2ème édition , Musée National d'Art modern, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France 
2010    Dessins en grande largeur, Galerie de France, Paris, France
Animism, Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, Switzerland 
2006    Tours et dètours dans la collection, Galerie de France, Paris, France
2005    INTELLIGENCE NOW!, October Gallery, London, UK
2001    FIAC, Grand Palais with Galerie de France, Paris, France
1999    The Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art, Liverpool, UK
L’Appel du Maroc, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France 
1997    Ici...là-bas, où le soleil se couche, CAC, Saint Priest, France
1996   Ports of Entry: William S. Burroughs and the Arts, LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum), Los Angeles, USA
Art Miami'96, Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami, USA 
1994    Les Dimanches de l'Amour, Galerie du Cloître - Ecole Régionale des Beaux-Arts, Rennes, France
1993    Iere Triennale des Amériques, Espace Sculfort, Maubeuge, France
FIAC, Grand Palais with Galerie de France, Paris, France
Lyon Biennale, Lyon, France
1991    Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
1990    Galeriea Sphira, Madrid, Spain
1989    Institut Du Monde Arabe, Paris, France
1988    Jack Tilton Gallery, New York, USA
1987    Documenta 8, Kassel, Germany
1986    Galerie Lara Vincy, Paris, France
1985    MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), New York, USA
1984    Villa Arson, Nice, France
1983    B-2 Gallery, London, UK
1981    October Gallery, London, UK
1980    Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
1979    Canon Photo Gallery, Geneva, Switzerland
1935    Galerie Aux Quatre Chemins, Paris, France
Museum of Modern Art. New York;
Boston Fine Arts Gallery, Boston, Mass.
Centre George Pompidou,
Fond National, Modern Art Paris
Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
and numerous private collections.