January 17, 2006
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College will present Duane Michals: Photography and Reality from Friday, Jan. 20 to Sunday, April 16. Duane Michals will speak about his work at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, in Stirn Auditorium. The exhibition, talk and a reception in the museum are all free and open to the public.

Since the late 1960s, Duane Michals’s influential photographs have depicted staged events and celebrity portraits, as well as literary, autobiographical, philosophical and erotic themes, with humor and emotional honesty. For this exhibition, co-curators Justin Kimball, a visiting assistant professor of fine arts at Amherst College, and Jill Meredith, the director of the Mead Art Museum, have selected excerpts from recent projects. These include sequences of small-scale gelatin silver prints that reveal the unfolding of an event or multiple views of a single subject. In this exhibition, Michals offers meditations on such universal themes as love, death, family and nature. Through the use of accompanying texts, often his own prose or poetic epigrams, Michals explores the resonance between single and sequential images, as well as the interplay of the verbal and the visual. These photographs evoke the dream world and idealism of children, as well as adult pragmatism, desire, memory and loss.

Born in McKeesport, Pa. in 1932, Michals graduated from the University of Denver and pursued graphic design and photography in the late 1950s. His extensive career has included one-person exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art (1970) and the George Eastman House (1971), as well as more recent solo shows at the Odakyu Museum, Tokyo (1999) and the National Gallery of Canada, Ontario (2000). This exhibition, organized by the Mead with the participation of the artist, includes work from his monographs: Nature of Desire, Now Becoming Then, Questions Without Answers, Eros and Thanatos and Salute, Walt Whitman. Also included is a new series, Ukiyo-e: Pictures from the Floating World (2005), Michals’s first fine art photography project using color.

Support for this exhibition has been provided by the Richard Templeton (Class of 1931) Photography Fund. The artist’s lecture is co-sponsored by the Department of Fine Arts.
The Mead Art Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Thursday evenings until 9 p.m. Additional information is available on the museum’s Website or by calling the museum at 413/542-2335. Admission and all events are free and open to the public.