Duane Michals, celebrated photographer and noted artist, will speak on Thursday, April 27, at 6 p.m. in the Taylor Auditorium at Vassar College. His talk is supported by the Smart Family Foundation, Inc., in conjunction with the exhibition "Making Light: Wit and Humor in Photography," at Vassar's Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center through June 11.
The subject of a one-man exhibition at Pace-MacGill Gallery in New York this winter, Michals' work may be seen in museum collections throughout the world. He has published over 25 books, including "Sequences," "Real Dreams," "Album: The Portraits of Duane Michals," "Eros and Thanatos," and "The Essential Duane Michals."
After working in the art and publicity departments of such mass market publications as Dance and Time, Michals first took up photography during a brief visit to Russia in 1958. Since the 1960s, he has pursued parallel careers as a commercial photographer, known for fashion and entertainment features, and as a fine artist whose deceptively simple portraits and hand-inscribed photo-narratives have brought psychological depth and poetic invention to a medium widely associated with literal description.
Inspired by Walt Whitman's poetry and paintings by René Magritte. Michaels has commented that "Photographers are always photographing the package. But they would never think to open up the box. Well, I'm interested in the contents because once you start opening up the box, it's like a Chinese box, there's always another box inside. My version of reality means I believe in the tears, I believe in the reality of anxiety."
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m., but will remain open until 6 p.m. on the day of Michals' talk. Admission is free and the Art Center is wheelchair accessible. For additional information, call the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at (845) 437-5632.