Duane Michals visits Mr. Magritte

Duane Michals—Courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery
Duane Michals—Courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery
Rene and Georgette (Multiple Exposure), 1965

Duane Michals early portfolio of photographs entitled A Visit with Magritte are part of the exhibition Wanna See My Portfolio? at Pace/Macgill  in New York City. The show consists of six portfolios produced by some of the most well known photographers of the 20th century. “Among my pantheon of myths, Rene Magritte casts the furthest shadow of illumination,” says Duane Michals.

“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.”

In the ’70s  when few museums or individuals were collecting photographs, most photographers struggled to support themselves. Publishing a portfolio allowed artists to sell a group of photos at one time and convey their artistic vision though a single set of images.  The show offers a glimpse into the minds of their creators as they began their careers. The work is on view till Aug. 24 and also features work by Diane Arbus, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Robert Rauschenberg and Garry Winogrand.

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