Extended to November 10– Duane Michals, Photographs from the Floating World

This exhibition features vibrant color photographs by this groundbreaking artist created in and around Cambridge, New York, during the last decade. The images reference art historical precedents, such as Japanese fan paintings and the late nineteenth-century French artists Bonnard and Vuillard, and depict emotion and universal themes like love, death, and immortality. Incorporated into his work is text which does not explain his photography, but gives voice to his ideas and thoughts about the pictures.


Duane Michals, Forty-three eggs and five feathers, 8/26/07 c-print with hand applied text mounted to board paper, 11 x 20 inches, from an edition of 25. Copyright Duane Michals Image courtesy of DC Moore Gallery, New York

Michals’ Work
In the late nineteenth century, artists like Degas, Whistler and Toulouse-Lautrec made interpretations of Ukiyo-e, the Japanese woodblock genre that was present during the Edo-or “Floating World”-period. (c. 1620-1867)  More than a century later, Michals introduced a modern variation of this art form which was inspired particularly by the Ukiyo-e-influenced work of Bonnard and Vuillard, along with a much earlier but sympathetic painting of Vermeer.  Color shots fusing Eastern and Western models of quietude and pensiveness created little fictions that embrace what has been referred to as life’s more “Japanese moments.” While he has previously used color film for commercial projects, Photographs from the Floating World marked the first instance in which Michals employed it for his own photography. The images describe discrete moments with haiku conciseness: a flower in blossom, a woman waiting, a man building a card house, a cat starting at the ghost of his master.

Related Events:
On Saturday, September 24 at 6:00 p.m. join us for an artist’s reception in the Works on Paper Gallery.  Then at 7:00 p.m. join the Michals in the Ada Pareksy Center for “Photography and Reality,” a discussion with this engaging artist and speaker.  Talk with him about his work beginning in the 1950s and up through today.  One of his most recent short films will be screened which will be followed by a Q&A.