“The Human Condition” by Duane Michals, 6 gelatin silver prints with hand-applied text, 5 x 7 inches, edition 22/25, 1969. © Duane Michals.

Carnegie Museum of Art: “The Human Condition” by Duane Michals, 6 gelatin silver prints with hand-applied text, 5 x 7 inches, edition 22/25, © Duane Michals. Source of hi-res reproduction.

This sequence of photos was first published in 1970 in the book Sequences (Duane Michals, New York: Doubleday; Amazon).
Duane Michals is an American photographer born in Pittsburgh on February 18, 1932. Two months ago he celebrated his eightieth anniversary. He still lives and works in New York.
From the Carnegie Museum of Art (text is excerpted from Pittsburgh Revealed catalog, by Linda Benedict-Jones, 1997):

Duane Stephen Michals was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, and attended McKeesport Technical High School. From 1949 to 1953, he studied art at the University of Denver. Since teaching himself how to photograph in 1956 and 1957, he has worked as a freelance photographer for many national magazines, including Vogue, Esquire, Mademoiselle, and Scientific American. Michals had his first solo exhibition at Underground Gallery in New York in 1963. Since then, more than 125 solo exhibitions of his work have been presented throughout the world, notably at the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, Rochester, New York, 1971; Musee d’Art Moderne, Paris, 1982; Modern Art Center, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, 1990; and the Irish Gallery of Photography, Dublin, 1993.

[…] Michals is best known for his sequence photographs, which he began creating in 1966 in New York. Dramatically different from more traditional photo essays such as those published in Life magazine, these works offered a new form of expression in the field of photography. The sequences vary in length, and the photographs are often accompanied by words handwritten by Michals after the final print is made. In these works, Michals abandons the alleged veracity of the photograph in favor of combining poetry and personal narrative with camera-made images. (read more)

“Magritte with Hat” by Duane Michals, 1965, gelatin silver print with hand applied text, 6 3/4" x 9 7/8". © Duane Michals.
“Magritte with Hat” by Duane Michals, 1965, gelatin silver print with hand applied text, 6 3/4" x 9 7/8". © Duane Michals.

More resources online about Duane Michals:

  • Eight Modern gallery has a biography about Duane Michals, as well as an article published in Photo Insider: “Feature Story #1: Duane Michals” by James A. Cotter, issue of Summer 2004.
  • The Art Institute of Chicago has 34 records for Duane Stephen Michals (including a copy of “The Human Condition” sequence).
  • The Oxford School of Photography’s blog has one entry about Duance Michals: “Duane Michals Sequences”, July 27, 2011 (biograhy and reproductions of some of his work)
  • A case study of Duane Michals by John Frederick Anderson
  • PDN and Kodak present Legends Online: Duane Michals. An interactive presentation of his life and work, including galleries and videos.
  • Joseph Bellows gallery has a bio of Duane Michals.
  • The Pace/McGill Gallery also has a biography and selected works from Duane Michals. About 52 photos are available for viewing. I believe it’s the richest repository of Duane Michals’s photos online.
  • Finally, a quick search on La Lettre De La Photographie (bilingual) reveals a series of featured articles produced last February (2012) for Michals’s anniversary. They used photos courtesy of the Pace/McGill Gallery. However, there’s an option on this website to see the photo “full screen”.

• • •

I first heard of Duane Michals over at All Things Amazing.

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