Curated by Linda Benedict-Jones
Duane Michals: The Portraitist presents the first comprehensive overview of inventive photographic portraits by one of the medium’s most influential artists. Best known as a pioneer who broke away from established traditions of documentary photography in the 1960s, Michals is widely recognized for his ability to navigate between imposing his style and allowing his sitters to express themselves, and for the sequences he assembles to convey personal visual narratives, often adding handwritten messages and poems on the photographic print surface.
More than 125 portraits by this beloved photographer are included in Duane Michals: The Portraitist, many of which were recently discovered in a workroom in his brownstone building in New York City. Frequently commissioned to create portraits of actors, writers, musicians, and others, Michals relished the challenge of distinguishing each personality with an improvisational approach. Collectively the prints reveal the artist’s spontaneity and highlight his expansive toolkit of techniques, including multiple exposures, reflections, uncommon vantage points, collage, hand-painting and more, to create a unique image.
As Michals wrote beneath a pensive portrait of Avant-garde Romanian-French playwright, Eugène Ionesco, “The end of childhood is when things cease to astonish us.” The diversity of personalities, along with the tremendous variety of photographic approaches, creates a nourishing visual experience and, as always, the works by master photographer Duane Michals do not cease to surprise and delight.
NUMBER OF WORKS:
135 framed photographs
FRAME SIZES: various
405 linear ft (123 linear m)
Duane Michals: Portraits
(New York: Thames and Hudson, 2017)
Please inquire: 626.577.9696
Mr. Backwards Forwards (Tilda Swinton), 2016
Yves Saint Laurent, 1983
Andy Warhol and his Mother Julia Warhola, 1958
Hell Grace Fool of Merry (Grace Coddington), 2016
Jeremy Irons, 1981
Joan Didion, c. 1990s
Adam and Eve (Male and Female), 1963
Magritte with Hat, 1965
Shelley Duvall, 1980
Joseph Cornell, 1972
Meryl Streep, 1975
Saturday Night Live Original Cast, c. 1980s