Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Duane Michals - ABCD, M for Magritte and more...

Duane Michals new bookwork - ABCD Duane - relates with his typical humour and wisdom, intimate themes of his life and art. The book is a scrapbook memoir illustrated by his works, from portraits of Magritte to Warhol, to painted tintypes, and the revolutionary multiple-image sequences and handwritten texts for which he is best known.

Michals' page on Magritte cuts straight to the chase. Magritte never disappointed. He transcended the obvious cultural cliches. All authentic artists invent their own mystery; they refuse to regurgitate a public domain vocabulary. One cannot duplicate their uniqueness. When I see a Magritte painting I know that nobody else could have come up with that particular notion, as private as poetry.

ABCD Duane is a wonderful book. It never disappoints.

Time Magazine says of the book - This is a retrospective not of Duane Michals' work but, rather, his sensibility. Here in one small volume is all the wit, charm, serious intent, and artfulness of Michals himself, plus his signature antic wisdom to make it a joyful ride.

And The Wall Street Journal - What is disarming and unique about Duane Michals' ideas is the humble means by which he chooses to translate them. His repertoire of special effects is stubbornly unflashy. Instead of smoke machines or lens distortion or solarized tone reversal, or anything in the digital toolbox, he makes long exposures and has his actors move. The treat of Mr. Michals' own art collection inlcudes drawings by Balthus, David Hockney, an etching by Giorgio Morandi and lithographs by Magritte. Most artists wouldn't risk the comparison. Mr. Michals has nothing to fear. His art doesn't look like anyone else's.

Duane Michals - Dr. Heisenberg's Magic Mirror of Uncertainty, 1998

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