Photo Above: Duane Photographs Anthony Red, 2015/2015, Oil on five gelatin silver prints with, hand-applied text, mounted on board, Edition 1/5, © Duane Michals. Courtesy of DC Moore Gallery, New York
No one is what they appear to be, especially posing in front of a camera. – Duane Michals
DC Moore Gallery is showing the exhibition Duane Michals: The Portraitist, a selection of new work in which Michals reinvigorates the possibilities of portraiture through the innovative use of sequencing, reflections, multiple exposures, overpainting, and handwritten annotations.
Duane Michals at DC Moore Gallery on the opening night.
The black-and-white photographs on view were developed from never-before-printed negatives that Michals exposed in the course of his career. His subjects include artist Jasper Johns, photographer Art Kane, actress Hildegard Knef, and singer Barbra Streisand. A selection of earlier portraits, including those of Balthus, Bertha and Charles Burchfield, Joseph Cornell, and René Magritte, provides context for the recent work. As the variety of poses, settings, viewpoints, and formats in these images demonstrates, Michals adapts the style of each portrait to the individual, thereby eschewing any formula that speaks more to photographer than sitter.
Image above: This Photograph is My Proof, 1967-74/c. 1974, Gelatin silver print with hand-applied text, Edition 21/25, © Duane Michals. Courtesy of DC Moore Gallery, New York
Wary of the commonplaces of portraiture, Michals rejects the notion of “looking at people with the pretentions of looking into them.” He has developed an alternative approach, which he terms “prose portraiture.” Rather than recording a physical likeness, he works to “suggest the atmosphere of the sitter’s identity, which is the sum total of who they are.…