Permanent CollectionPhotograph

Duane Michals

Rene Magritte in a Bowler Hat, 1965

gelatin- silver print, ed 2/30

14 in x 11 in

Duane Michals (born 1932 McKeesport, PA) is an artist based in Pennsylvania. This american photographer makes innovative use of photo-sequences, often incorporating text to examine emotion and philosophy. In 1953 he received a B.A. from the University of Denver. After two years in the Army he went on to study at the Parsons School of Design wanting to become a graphic designer, but he did not complete his studies. Michals describes his knowledge of photography as self taught. His photography has addressed gay themes. In discussing his notion of the artist’s relationship to politics and power however, Michals feels ultimately that aspirations are useless.


Rene Magritte in a Bowler Hat is a photograph that is part of the “From a Visit to Magritte” series. “I was 33 and he was 65 when I visited him in Brussels. He was a contradiction, a surrealist who lived like a banker with the kaleidoscopic mind of an alchemist. He was very kind to me, giving me carte blanche to his treasures. I walked all the way back to New York from Belgium. My visit still lingers with the eyes of my portfolio.” said Duane Michals. This multiple exposure photograph is a reflection of Magritte conceptual mind.


[description:] Black and white portrait. There are two different images of Rene Magritte, one on top of the other, somewhat fused. The most pigmented portrait of Magritte is of his whole torso and head, standing in front of a white wall. The other image, that doesn’t have as much contrast, of Magritte only consists of his head and hat, standing in front of the same white wall.