A Closer Look: Duane Michals

Good Morning Glory, 10/02/07, 2012

Pigmented inkjet print, 11 x 20″

Shipped mounted on 4-ply archival mat board

Edition of 100, signed and numbered by the artist


“Photography deals exquisitely with appearances, but nothing is what it appears to be.”

– Duane Michals

Duane Michals‘ series Photographs of the Floating World features brightly colored prints with hand-applied text, where the images assume the shape of traditional Japanese fans. Unconventional in format, the series references Ukiyo-e, a popular genre of Japanese woodblock printing noted for the absence of perspective and flat areas of pronounced color. The English translation of Ukiyo-e is “floating world,” and images of this genre aspire to remove the viewer from the mundane and lift the spirit to the realm of the transcendent. Michals presents a modern and personal approach to this artistic tradition, exploring the enigmatic nature of contemporary life by blurring the boundaries between fantasy and reality with Eastern and Western influences. Since the 1960s Michals been recognized as an innovative and influential artist. His work is included in the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; the Moderna Musetet, Stockholm, Sweden; the National Museum of Art, Kyoto, Japan; and the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA, among other public and private collections. His bibliography includes over ten monographs, including Photographs from the Floating World (Steidl, 2012), featuring his colorful Japanese-inspired images.

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