Synopses & Reviews
Duane Michals (b. 1932) is an American photographic artist noted for his creative extension of the possibilities of the photographic medium. Alongside a career as a freelance photographer working in fashion and advertising, Michals explored multiple exposures, sequences, series, and combinations of text and drawings. Ever since his first major solo exhibition, at the Museum of Modern Art in 1970, his work has been consistently published and exhibited worldwide.
About the Author
The legendary photographer relates intimate themes of his life and art in a scrapbook memoir illustrated by his works—from portraits of Magritte to Warhol, to painted tintypes, and the revolutionary multiple-image sequences and handwritten texts for which he is best known—and by pieces from his personal art collection, now donated to Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art.
Whether a portrait of Eugène Atget by Berenice Abbott, collages by Joseph Cornell, or drawings by David Hockney, the works of Michals’s artistic lodestars sit alongside his own haunting images—some never-before-published—and his mordantly funny, playful, humble, and heartbreaking observations on art, photography, and life—revealing the creative obsessions of a uniquely beloved artist.
The images and texts by Duane Michals assembled here are, like the artist himself—impossible to categorize; perhaps there is no better way to organize them than alphabetically. Whether recalling encounters with many of the past century’s most illustrious artists (Balthus, Duchamp), celebrating literary heroes (Whitman, Joyce), addressing essential human concerns (Grief, Children’s Stories, Homosexuality, God), or revealing deeply personal snippets of life with a partner suffering from dementia (Fred Said)—ABCDuane is a creative autobiography and the perfect primer for Michals’s vastly influential body of work—both for those who have loved it for the past half-century, and those being delighted by it for the first time.