Duane Michals

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The Fallen Angel, 1968



Empty New York


Hand-Painted Tintypes

Painted Photographs

Duane Michals

Artist Biography

Duane Michals (b. 1932, McKeesport, PA) is one of the great photographic innovators of the last century, widely known for his work with series, multiple exposures, and text.

Michals first made significant, creative strides in the field of photography during the 1960s. In an era heavily influenced by photojournalism, Michals manipulated the medium to communicate narratives. The sequences, for which he is widely known, appropriate cinema’s frame-by-frame format. Michals has also incorporated text as a key component in his works. Rather than serving a didactic or explanatory function, his handwritten text adds another dimension to the images’ meaning and gives voice to Michals’s singular musings, which are poetic, tragic, and humorous, often all at once.

Over the past five decades, Michals’s work has been exhibited in the United States and abroad. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, hosted Michals’s first solo exhibition (1970). More recently, he has had one-person shows at the Odakyu Museum, Tokyo (1999), and at the International Center of Photography, New York (2005). In 2008, Michals celebrated his 50th anniversary as a photographer with a retrospective exhibition at the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, Greece and the Scavi Scaligeri in Verona, Italy.

In recognition of his contributions to photography, Michals has been honored with a CAPS Grant (1975), a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (1976), the International Center of Photography Infinity Award for Art (1989), the Foto España International Award (2001), and an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, Mass. (2005).

Michals's work belongs to numerous permanent collections in the U.S. and abroad, including the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Moderna Museet, Stockholm; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Michals's archive is housed at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh.

Monographs of Michals's work include Homage to Cavafy (1978); Nature of Desire (1989); Duane Michals: Now Becoming Then (1990); Salute, Walt Whitman (1996); The Essential Duane Michals (1997); Questions Without Answers (2001); The House I Once Called Home (2003) and Foto Follies / How Photography Lost Its Virginity on the Way to the Bank (2006). Forthcoming publications include 50 (Admira Photography, June 2008); a collection of Michals’s writing (Delpire Editeur, Fall 2008); and his Japanese-inspired, color photographs (Steidl, Fall 2008).

Michals received a BA from the University of Denver in 1953 and worked as a graphic designer until his involvement with photography deepened in the late 1950s. He currently lives and works in New York City.


Interior Spaces

Jan 9 - Feb 8, 2014


December 3 - 8, 2013

Beasts of Revelation

Jun 21 - Aug 3, 2012


Please enjoy this trailer for Talking Pictures: Twelve Mini Movies by Duane Michals

Selected Press

Artforum Review: Empty New York

October 2014

Storyteller: ARTnews Review

February 2015

New York Review of Books

February 2015

The New Yorker Photo Booth

May 10, 2014

Goings on About Town: Duane Michals

June 2, 2014

Wall Street Journal Review: Empty New York

May 3, 2014

Artnet Critics Pick "Empty New York"

May 21, 2014

L'Oeil: The Eye of Photography interviews Duane Michals

May 2014

Duane Michals: Heart of the Question

New York Times online, October 31, 2013.

Fighting Against Photography by Rebecca Robertson

ARTnews Summer 2013

Duane Michals at NYPL

Art on Air

Mixing of Genres by Cathy Remy

Le Monde Magazine April 2013

Video: Lecture at Denver Art Museum

April 15, 2013

The Wizard of Gramercy Park by John Dorfman

Art&Antiques April 2013

Duane Michals

The New Yorker April 2013

Duane Michals: Interview by Sabine Mirlesse

BOMB March 26, 2013

Happy Birthday Duane Michals

La Lettre de la Photographie February 21, 2012

Duane Michals, Palais de l'Archeveche, Arles, France by Francis Hodgson

The Financial Times, July 2009

Duane Michals: Chromophilia by Robert Kushner

Aperture Fall 2008

How to Act Like a Poet in Black and White

The New York Times, November 2005

ArtForum Critics' Pick: Duane Michals at DC Moore Galleru

May 27, 2016