Duane Michals

31.MAY.2017           10.SEP.2017

Exhibition in Barcelona. Fundación MAPFRE Casa Garriga i Nogués Exhibition Hall

Duane MichalsDr. Heisenberg’s Magic Mirror of Uncertainty, 1998
Sequence of 6 copies in silver gelatin with handwritten text.
Courtesy of the DC Moore Gallery, New York © Duane Michals

Home > Exhibitions > Past exhibitions > Duane Michals



31.MAY.2017         10.SEP.2017


Casa Garriga Nogués
Diputació, 250. 08007 Barcelona

Our retrospective exhibition dedicated to the work of the US photographer, Duane Michals opened on 31 May until 10 September. The itinerary of the exhibition is distributed in successive stages, that show the different, gradually invented ways of expression of the photographer, along with the varying series made on specific subjects over time. Duane Michals is now 84 and is still creating, taking photographs and inventing techniques that respond to the need to express himself.

The Duane Michals exhibition is produced by Fundación MAPFRE and curated by Enrica Viganó.

An artist in balance between photography and poetry, Duane Michals (McKeesport, Pennsylvania, 1932) is one of the most prestigious names of North American avant-garde. In the sixties, he created a new approach to photography, which did not intend to document facts or “truth”, but to deal with metaphysical aspects of life. Through very personal work of extraordinary originality, Duane Michals has blurred the line between photography and other disciplines, such as poetry or painting. He has become one of the artists who has renewed photographic language with great intensity over the past sixty years.

In an age marked by photojournalism, he rejected the limitations of this trend, and became closer to cinematic storytelling, by using carefully formed photographic sequences. Likewise, he crossed the limits of the means, by incorporating handwritten texts on his developed copies which add a deeper dimension to his photographs. >With uncomplicated technique and lighting, and meticulous set design, his work approaches the major questions of the human being, often through play and irony.

He also uses these elements to construct his portraits, in which he tries to reflect not only the physical aspect of the models, but more their identity and the elements that characterize them best. Whatever the means and the subject addressed, the personality, concerns and the sense of humor of Duane Michals overflow in all his works.

Metaphysics: unlike the interest of many photographers to capture tangible reality, Duane Michals tries to photograph precisely what cannot be seen. To do this, he uses unconventional means of expression, that enable him to explore transcendental issues such as death, love, sexuality, the passing of time, the world of dreams or identity.

Expression: Perhaps as a result of his self-training, Duane Michals has never found himself affected by traditional photography standards. This has enabled him to cross the limits of photographic language. Beyond the sequences and photo texts that made him famous, his search for new forms of expression is still alive and reflected in his latest creations. These include short-films, collage and hand-painted photos.

Intimacy: Duane Michals’ work allows us to access the artist’s personality and philosophy of life. His photos and the texts he writes on them, reflect his political ideas, his aesthetic preferences and his most intimate emotions. His generally small copies and his writings by hand cause a sensation of intimacy and a strong, direct relationship with the observer.

Freedom: Duane Michals has been commissioned part of his work. This has led him to make a number of portraits of figures from culture and art, and even commercial work for various companies and magazines, in which he also expresses his character and style. This activity has meant he has been able to do the rest of his work with total freedom, without depending on the art market, of which he is very critical.

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