Boxes, cases, reliquiaries

In the 1970s Martial Raysse’s artistic practice possessed a manual intelligence that manifested itself in his gathered objects and assemblages, which are pervaded by a spirit of psychedelic experimentation. The boxes of his Coco Mato period, made of minute objects and ordinary but precious materials, reflect a personal mythology, both domestic and cultural, drawn from the hallucinatory imagination fuelled by mushrooms and by the Beat Generation poets’ fascination with fantastical Indian cities, like Digpatchan, or the Moroccan streets of the Boulaouane Casbah.