Henri Noverraz was born on July 10, 1915 in Villette, Switzerland, to a barrier mother and a fisherman father. He only learned to read at 16, the age at which he exhibited his first drawings. At 25 he published his first collection of poems.
In Paris, he frequented the surrealists and learned about automatic writing. He notably met Michaux, Artaud and Breton there. He then participated in the Spanish War as a chronicler and then embarked for Algeria. In 1939, the war brought him back to Switzerland. He enrolled at the Beaux-Arts in Geneva.
Autonomous by nature, he never wanted to join a school or a current: “Formalism annoys me a lot. Conformism even more. I treasure my freedom”.
Throughout his life, he participated in more than one hundred group exhibitions and no less than sixty personal exhibitions. In 1965, the Geneva Museum of Art and History presented an exhibition of more than two hundred works to the Cabinet des Prints.
In addition to his literary collaboration in numerous journals, Noverraz has published around twenty titles, mainly poetry but also short stories, Roman, studies and a play. He also leaves behind many unpublished manuscripts.
Soul of an anarchist, resistant, painter, writer, musician and actor of cinema (in 1968, he is the protagonist of the first episode of the film “Swissmade”), Henri Noverraz describes with force the injustices of society.
“Naivety, lack of culture, lack of profession are not very important when you really have an impulse to express a feeling or to try to pay homage to the surrounding beauty.”
Henri Noverraz died in Geneva on February 8, 2002 – a city he nicknamed “Calvinograd”. He was 87 years old.