Born in 1932 and raised near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in a steelworker family, Michals was a pioneer in the 1960s when he broke away from established traditions of documentary and fine art photography. Rather than respecting the primacy of the photographic print, Michals added handwritten messages and poems to the paper surface. Instead of accepting the widely recognized dominance of a powerful single image, so respected by masters like Ansel Adams or Henri Cartier-Bresson, Michals created sequences of multiple images to convey visual stories. He has always considered himself to be a storyteller.
Inspired by Surrealist painter Réné Magritte, Michals experimented with double and triple exposures to expand the meaning and interpretation of his subject. These innovations won both derision and acclaim, including a one-person exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1970. Consistent worldwide publication of his photographs in books and journals followed. In the major histories of photography, Michals is cited as being seminally important in his willingness to bend the rules of the medium to suit his own ends. He is credited for broadening our understanding of the philosophical dimensions of photography from the 1960s to today.
This exhibition is organized by Linda Benedict-Jones, curator of photography.
Members See it First
During Member Previews, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh members enjoy exhibitions before they open to the general public. Storyteller: The Photography of Duane Michals will be open to members only on Saturday, November 1, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Click here to register.
November 10: Coffee with the Curator—Telling the Story of the Storyteller
November 12—February 7, 2015: Writer’s Workshop—Image to Word with Author Sherrie Flick
November 15 & 16: An Intimate Evening and Critique for Artists with Duane Michals and Richard Kelly
November 16: Artist Talk—Duane Michals
November 20: Culture Club—The Art of Collecting
January 21, 2015: Art History Class—Decisive Moments in Photography
January 25: Culture Club Film Screening—Duane Michals: The Man Who Invented Himself
February 12: Culture Club—Image to Word, A Public Reading
Photography from every angle
Don't miss these other opportunities to explore photography at Carnegie Museum of Art:
The Hillman Photography Initiative, ongoing
Photography in the Trenches, 1914–1918, June 4–December, 2014
Teenie Harris Photographs: Civil Rights Perspectives,October 16, 2014-March 31, 2015