For Immediate Release: September 12, 2016
Contact: Susan Strano, Marketing Director
802-447-1571 ext. 204
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
Talk with Photographer Duane Michals at the Bennington Museum
On Saturday, September 24 at 6:00 p.m. join Duane Michals in the Works on Paper Gallery of the Bennington Museum for an artist’s reception which is followed at 7:00 p.m. with “Photography and Reality,” a discussion with this engaging artist and speaker. Talk with him about the work he began in the 1950s and continued right through today, and enjoy one of his most recent short films followed by a Q&A. Engaging and delightful, you will want to visit with Michals who is one of the great photographic innovators of the last century, known especially for his work with series, multiple exposures, and text.
His exhibition Photographs form the Floating World, on view at the museum through October 30, features vibrant color photographs created by this groundbreaking artist in and around Cambridge, New York―where Michals had a home for more than 40 years. While he had previously used color film for commercial projects, Photographs from the Floating World marked the first instance in which Michals employed color for his own photography. The images reference art historical precedents, especially Japanese fan paintings and the late nineteenth-century French artists Pierre Bonnard and Édouard Vuillard, and depict emotion and universal themes like love, death, and immortality. Michals incorporated text, a signature element of his work since the 1960s, as a key component in these works. His handwritten text adds another dimension to the images’ meaning and gives voice to Michals’ singular musings, which are poetic, tragic, and humorous, often all at once.
After the opening of Japan to the West in the late nineteenth century, artists like Degas and Whistler were impacted by Japanese aesthetics and made interpretations of ukiyo-e or “pictures of the floating world.” Ukiyo-e was an important Japanese painting and woodblock genre which was popular during the Edo period (c. 1620-1867). It depicted images of daily life. 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. Michals’ carefully staged color shots blending Eastern and Western models exhibiting quietude and pensiveness, which created little fictions that have been referred to as life’s more “Japanese moments.”
About the Museum
Bennington Museum is located at 75 Main Street (Route 9), Bennington, in The Shires of Vermont. The museum is open daily June through October, 10 am to 5 pm. It is wheelchair accessible. Regular admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and students over 18. Admission is never charged for younger students, museum members, or to visit the museum shop. Visit the museum’s website www.benningtonmuseum.org or call 802-447-1571 for more information.
Bennington Museum is close to other notable art and culture destinations, including Usdan Gallery at Bennington College (10 minutes), The Clark Art Institute (20 minutes); and MassMoCA (30 minutes).