Dom Sylvester HOUÉDARD 1924-1992

Dom Sylvester HOUÉDARD was a remarkable man: a Benedictine monk at Prinknash Abbey in Gloucestershire, who became a cult figure of the 1960s counter-culture in London. Known simply as dsh, his avant-garde credentials were impeccable. A pioneer of concrete poetry, he wrote extensively on new spiritual approaches to art and was an authority on the Beat movement. His abstract visual poems, known as Typestracts, were A4 in size and typed on an Olivetti Lettera 22.

 

The Victoria & Albert Museum held a retrospective of his work in 1971, and he exhibited internationally throughout the 1970s, becoming a key figure in the international concrete poetry movement. Since the 1970s, the scarcity of his work –his estate was bequeathed to a UK library – and his reputation as a theologian and aesthete has turned this avant-garde artist into a semi-mythical figure. Recent exhibitions have been staged at Lisson Gallery, New York in 2018 and 'Typestract' at Richard Saltoun Gallery, London in 2012.