Thursday, March 11, 1999
"My saving grace is I never went to photo school and never learned the rules."
--photographer Duane Michals
What is it about Duane Michals that makes his work so unique in the history of fine-art photography?
Where most photographers fail to see beyond the physical facts of the world, Michals'' vision is directed beyond the immediacy of existence toward a numinous world where "reality" is nothing more or less than the dream of life transfigured as another plane of being.
Michals, whose work is being featured in a new one-person exhibit at Center For Photographic Art in Carmel, is most noted for his creation of narratives composed of up to 15 different images that, when viewed sequentially, emerge as wonderfully cryptic, enigmatic tales that reveal a mysterious and mythic dimension lurking beneath our everyday lives.
"My early sequences dealt with ideas and emotions, other than what things looked like," notes Michals, who adds titles and handwritten text that subtly illuminate the sequences'' underlying themes. "Everything grew out of a need to express something, and to take a different approach," says Michals.
Although grounded in the reality of everday life, through his use of multiple exposures, slow shutter speeds and clever manipulation of physical space and scale, what Michals is truly photographing is an "other-dimensional" world where synchronicity is the norm and truth is to be found in the realm that falls somewhere between symbol and object.
Michals first achieved serious recognition in the late ''60s, at a time when photographers were concerned primarily with either hard-edged, social reportage/ street photography or landscape photography and the sanctification of the "fine art print."
All of which isn''t to say Michals doesn''t appreciate the beauty of light and the aesthetics of the silver print. Michals'' images are almost uniformly lit by window light, creating an evocative chiaroscuro that is rich in its emotional suggestiveness--what Michals characterizes as "Vermeer light."
"Chiaroscuro is the most beautiful light, a ''real'' light with a quality of reality," explains Michals. "That is important to photography. A situation that looks real, and that happens in a real place is more powerful."
Among the 18 individual images and sequences selected by CPA Executive Director Dennis High are many of Michals'' most challenging and well-known works dealing with such themes as the loss of innocence, the psychology of sexual relations, and the illusion of reality. In addition to the sequences, there are a handful of powerful, individual portraits dealing with such themes as guilt, repentance, and the nature of human desire.
At age 67, Michals continues to explore the truth of the "invisible" world with undiminished vigor and enthusiasm, although he admits the pursuit of that truth remains elusive.
"It''s like a Chinese Box, and I realized it will always be a work in progress," admits Michals, who is the lone apostle of his unique photographic vision. "Other photographers never open the box, they just look at it." cw
Opening reception Friday, 6-8pm. Through April 30. Center For Photographic Art, San Carlos Street and 9th Avenue, Carmel 625-5181.
Back Porch Fabrics Fun With Freddy. Opening Reception. Quilts by Freddy Moran. 157 Grand Ave., Pacific Grove. 375-4453. Reception: 3/14, 1pm. Through: 4/29.
Carl Cherry Center for the Arts Beauty at the Heart of Things. Call for Entries. The Carl Cherry Center seeks photographic entries--"up to four slides in black and white or color related to the articulation of beauty in everyday objects"--for a show that opens 4/3. Call for more info. 624-7491.
Carmel Art Association Digital Fine Art Prints. Lecture. Lubo Michaylov presents an overview of "up-to-date digital printing technologies for creating large format color prints." Dolores Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, Carmel. 624-6176. Reception: 3/11. Through: 3/11.
Center for Photographic Art Duane Michals: Now Becoming Then. Opening Reception. Narrative series of photographs telling visual, otherworldly stories. At the Sunset Center, San Carlos Street and 8th Avenue, Carmel. 625-5181. Reception: 3/12, 6pm. Through: 4/30.
Cultural Council for MoCo Call for Entries. The Cultural Council for Monterey County is looking for applicants eager to show their art in government buildings. Deadline for applications is 3/15. Call for more info. 622-9060. Through: 3/15.
Marjorie Evans Gallery Separate Visions. Opening Reception. Photographs by the Independent Photographers group. At Sunset Center, San Carlos Street and 8th Avenue, Carmel. 373-3009. Reception: 3/12, 6pm. Through: 3/31.
MPC Gallery Fusion: Integration of Digital and Three-dimensional Art. Opening Reception. Works by students of Jason Challas at Monterey Peninsula College. 980 Fremont St., Monterey. 333-0501. Reception: 3/16, noon. Through: 4/2.
Restaurant 211 Art, Food, Joy. Special Event. Gerrica Connolly unveils a mural painted at this newly opened restaurant, and exhibits other recent oils and watercolors. RSVP advised. 211 Crossroads Blvd., Carmel. 625-3030. Reception: 3/12, 5pm. Through: 3/12.
Seaside City Hall Annual Youth Art Show. Opening Reception. Photographic works, paintings, graphics, sculptures and crafts are shown by Monterey County junior high and high school students. 440 Harcourt Ave., Seaside. 899-6336. Reception: 3/12, 7pm. Through: 3/27.
Zantman Art Galleries Recent Works. Opening Reception. Still life paintings by Dorothy Fitzgerald. Mission Street and 6th Avenue, Carmel. 624-8314. Reception: 3/13, 4pm. Through: 4/8.
Ansel Adams Gallery Backwater: Central Valley Dreamscapes. Exhibit. Photographs of California''s Central Valley by Roman Loranc. The Inn at Spanish Bay, 2700 17 Mile Drive, Pebble Beach. 375-7215. Through: 3/15.
Artmax Art Supplies Class. A series of spring workshops is presented by Artmax. 3/20: "Mat Cutting:" 3/27: "Sumi Painting;" 4/3: "Origami/Glass Painting/Marbling;" 4/10: "Oils/Watercolors;" 4/17: "Acrylics;" 4/24: "Acrylics." Each class is $5; children and adults welcome. All workshops begin at noon. 680 Broadway Ave., Seaside. 394-0565. Through: 4/24.
Back Porch Fabrics and Gallery These Are a Few of Our Favorite Quilts. Exhibit. Quilts and garments made by the staff of Back Porch Fabrics. 157 Grand Ave., Pacific Grove. 375-4453. Through: 3/12.
Carl Cherry Center Thinking Out Loud. Exhibit. Artwork in many media by Monterey County high school students. The show is presented in conjunction with the "1999 Monterey County High School Poetry Awards," which has an awards ceremony on 3/20 at the Monterey Public Library, Guadalupe Street and 4th Avenue, Carmel. 624-7491. Through: 3/28.
Carmel Art Association A Curious Collection. Exhibit. New works by sculptor Kathleen Crocetti. The exhibit represents a year-long series in which the artist investigates, "what will be emerging from these cocoons?" Also, paintings and drawings by Frank Ashley; abstract landscapes by Heidi Hybl; watercolors by William F. Stone, Jr; oil paintings on paper by Susan Reith. Dolores Street, between 5th and 6th avenues, Carmel. 624-6176. Through: 4/6.
Carmel Valley Manor Exhibit. Works by members of the Monterey Peninsula Chapter of the Embroiderers'' Guild of America. 8545 Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley. 626-4806. Through: 3/30.
Fireside Lobby Henry Gilpin. Opening Reception. Silver gelatin prints by noted photographer Henry Gilpin. At the Highlands Inn, Highway 1, Carmel. 624-3801. Reception: 3/19, 6pm. Through: 6/15.
Galeria Tonantzin The Breast of Times. Exhibit. Works in clay by five women artists exploring "a subject that [is] on the minds of most individuals in our culture." 115 3rd St., San Juan Bautista. 623-ARTE. Through: 4/11.
Gray''s Art Gallery Women & Children At Work--Ghana. Opening Reception. Photographic essay by Karin Cotterman. 1104 Broadway Ave., Suite K, Seaside. 899-1069. Reception: 3/20, 4pm. Through: 4/3.
Grove Homescapes Exhibit. Mono prints by Lesley Ann Spowart and Gary Snider; acrylic paintings by Anita Benson; black-and-white photographs by Jay Schneider. 472 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove. 656-0864. Through: 3/31.
Martin Laborde Gallery Special Event. Photographs by Loran List ranging from female nudes "in 1920s and ''30s style," to scenes from his recent China trip. On Saturday, Morgan Guberman plays contrabass, and the Harman-Diaz Infante Trio offer experimental improvised music. Sixth Avenue, between Lincoln and Dolores streets, Carmel. 620-1150. Through: 3/15.
Monterey College of Law Exhibit. Handmade papers, monotypes and etchings by Paula Walzer. 404 W. Franklin St., Monterey. 373-3301.
Monterey Museum of Art: Civic Center
Exhibit. Gerald Wasserman''s "Caff Scenes;" Works on paper from the Frost/Hanna Collection. C.S. Price: "Landscape, Image and Spirit." 559 Pacific St., Monterey. 372-5477. Through: 5/9.
Monterey Peninsula Airport Altered States: Transforming the Spirit of Castoff Materials. Exhibit. Works by local artists who have created unusual works from everyday objects. Also, "Angels of Tradition," Santa Catalina Lower School students present their version of Monterey''s Christmas angels. 200 Fred Kane Dr., Monterey. 624-7910. Through: 3/31.
National Steinbeck Center Cross-eyed: Two Siblings/Distinct Memories. Exhibit. Art works and writing by John and Leah Harper that "relate humorous and touching stories about their memories growing up in a large family." One Main St., Salinas. 796-3833.
Pacific Grove Art Center Exhibit. "Out of the Earth," photographs by David E. Stroup; "My Life," paintings by Marian Whitney; "Print Work," etchings and lithographs by Diana Jacobs; humorous sculpture by Mary Gould. 568 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove. 375-2208. Through: 4/2.
Pajaro Valley Gallery Black & White and Everything in Between. Exhibit. Works by Lynda Watson and Jane Gregorius. 37 Sudden St., Watsonville. 722-3062. Through: 3/20.
Santa Catalina School The World of Lady M. Paintings by Karen Nagano inspired by Japanese court culture and literature. 1500 Mark Thomas Dr., Monterey. 655-9350. Through: 4/18.
Tillie Gort''s Restaurant Through the Looking Glass. Exhibit. Black-and-white portraiture by Rocio Brice¤o "examines images of an adult world in the eyes of children." 111 Central Ave., Pacific Grove. 373-0335. Through: 3/28.
Valley Art Gallery Annual Juried Show. Exhibit. Members of the Salinas Valley Art Association show works in many media. 218 Main St., Salinas. 422-4162. Through: 3/27.
Vest Pocket Gallery Watercolors. Exhibit. Works by Chuck Scardina. 551 Gibson Ave., Pacific Grove. 657-5200. Through: 3/31.
A Woman''s Wellspring Exhibit. Black-and-white photography of the female nude by Jenny Ruley. 575 Calle Principal, Monterey. 649-2320. Through: 3/30.
Zantman Art Galleries Opening Reception. Paintings by Suzanne Etienne. 6th Street and Mission Avenue, Carmel. 624-8314. Through: 3/12.
How I Learned To Drive Previews Tuesday; opens Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm. Drama. Winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for drama, this memory play is told through the eyes of Li''l Bit, now in her 30s, as she recalls the sexual affair she had with her Uncle Peck over a seven-year period, when she was 11 to 18 years old. Alternately funny and devastatingly brutal, this Paula Vogel play explores the limits of familial sexual behavior. Can sex between an adult uncle and his teenage niece be "consensual?" Can a child realize the emotional impact she may suffer years later? From the opening scenes of sexual exploration in a car seat, Vogel lets the audience know this won''t be a night of easy entertainment. Kathy Deskin-Jacobs directs Stephen Moorer and Carune Shea in the lead roles. Half-price preview, Tuesday. The Circle Theater in the Golden Bough, Monte Verde Avenue between 8th and 9th streets, Carmel. 622-0700. $18/general; $15/children; $15/seniors. Through: 4/17.
Toad of Toad Hall Saturday at 2 and 4pm, Sunday at 1 and 3pm. Children. Thomas Burks revives his role as Mr. Toad in the Unicorn Family Fantasy Theatre production of the children''s classic by Kenneth Graham, The Wind in the Willows. Carey Crockett has adapted the tale and woven it into a wonderful children''s play complete with puppets and props, which the Unicorn folks have put on several times, to the delight of local youngsters and their parents. Advance tickets are available through the theater and at Spanish Bay Galleries, Bookmark in Pacific Grove and Carmel Video in the Mid-Valley Shopping Center. The Hoffman Playhouse, 320 Hoffman Ave., Monterey. 649-0259. $5/general; $5/children; $5/seniors. Through: 4/24.
Translations Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm. Drama. The York School drama department presents a drama set in Northern Ireland by Brian Friel, the Irish playwright best known in this country for his Dancing at Lughnasa. Translations is set in Donegal in 1833, and tells the story of the British Army''s attempt to stem the tide of Irish independence by forcibly replacing Gaelic with English in the territory they were occupying. Friel couches his political message within a fictional love story between a British soldier and an Irish village girl. Call for reservations, leaving your name, the number of people in your group and your phone number; you will only be called back if seats are unavailable. York School Theater, 9501 York Rd., Monterey. 372-7338, ext. 138. Free. Through: 4/20.
Two Dozen Red Roses Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 7pm. Comedy. A love quadrangle is the setting for this modern romantic farce by Kenneth Horne. The confusion is set in motion when roses are delivered to the wrong woman''s house. The plot thickens, subplots emerge, lovers are entangled and mayhem ensues until the inevitable resolution. Directed by Richard Munyon. The Hoffman Playhouse, 320 Hoffman Ave., Monterey. 649-0259. $15/general; $15/children; $15/seniors. Through: 4/24.
A Cup of Tea Friday and Saturday at 8pm. Melodrama. The Troupers of the Gold Coast present A Cup of Tea, a 19th-century farce about an erstwhile poet who composes sonnets to his lady-love. His heartfelt odes, unfortunately, fall into the hands of his intended''s husband, with predictably tragi-comic results. This is the Troupers'' 541st production since 1937 in the historic First Theater, one of Monterey''s most treasured 19th-century buildings. All shows are suitable for the entire family, and are followed by an olio revue. California''s First Theater, Scott and Pacific streets, Monterey. 375-4916. $10/general; $5/children; $8/seniors. Through: 3/27.
Cat On a Hot Tin Roof Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm. Drama. Pac Rep takes on this powerful Tennessee Williams Pulitzer Prize-winning drama of a red-hot family feud in a Mississippi Delta town. Stephen Moorer plays Brick, a once-great high school athlete paralyzed by drink and his own failed sense of self. Julie Hughett is his wife Maggie, a bombshell crushed by her husband''s refusal to share her bed. Len Perry takes center stage as Big Daddy, the all-powerful family patriarch whose imminent demise sets in motion a bitter quarrel for his money and his love. Directed by John Rousseau. Saturday ticket prices are $20/general; $15/students and seniors. Other days, $18/general; $12/students and seniors. Golden Bough Theater, Monte Verde Street between 8th and 9th avenues, Carmel. 622-0700. Through: 4/11
Fractured Fairy Tales Sunday at 1pm. Comedy. Ramie Wikdahl directs a new improv troupe called the Portable Theatre, which will be presenting their own brand of fractured fairy tales--wacky retellings of popular fairy tales--an hour before each MPC Main Stage show on Sunday afternoons. The goal is to develop an interactive theater experience that draws the audience into the storytelling. Eventually, the players hope to take their fairy tales on the road as an SRO/Studio Theater travelling production. Monterey Peninsula College Main Stage, 980 Fremont St., Monterey. 646-4085. Free. Through: 4/21.
On The Air Friday and Saturday at 8:30pm, Sunday at 8pm. Musical Revue. Angelo DiGirolamo revives this feel-good, song-and-dance trip down nostalgia lane, presented as this year''s major fundraiser for the Wharf Theater. It''s a true musical revue, featuring the great old songs of Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein, George and Ira Gershwin, and their like. The show is billed as a way to relive the grand old days of radio (if you''re old enough to remember them) or to introduce that genre to your youngsters and grand-youngsters. All ages, of course, are welcome. Directed by Gina Welch-Hagen. Wharf Theater, Fisherman''s Wharf, Monterey. 649-2332/372-1373. $15/general; $8/children. Through: 3/28.
Once Upon a Mattress Thursday at 7pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm. Musical Comedy. The fractured fairy-tale musical that made Carol Burnett a Broadway star, Once Upon A Mattress is a modern song-and-dance retelling of the classic story of a princess who had to prove her royal lineage by feeling a single pea hidden under a stack of mattresses. Now you can do that sort of genealogical tracing by computer. Terry Barto directs and choregraphs the show, which is recommended for the entire family. Monterey Peninsula Theater Main Stage, 980 Fremont St., Monterey. 646-4213. $15/general; $7/children; $11/seniors. Through: 3/21.
Waiting in the Wings Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2:30pm. Comedy. The Staff Players present Noel Coward''s comedy about a retirement home for British actresses "of a certain vintage." Waiting in the Wings is typical Coward fare: clever, funny, fast-paced and revealing of the human condition. Nick Hovick directs a cast of 17, including Marcia Hovick, Janice O''Brien, Loel Shuler, Susan Keenan and Neva Hahns. Indoor Forest Theater, Mountain View and Santa Rita streets, Carmel. 624-1531. $12/general; $9/children; $9/seniors. Through: 3/28.
Smash Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 5pm. Comedy. Conrad Selvig directs a great local cast in this Jeffrey Hatcher adaptation of George Bernard Shaw''s novel, An Unsocial Socialist. Clever word play and love triangles are intertwined with serious debate about societal change and the British caste system in the Victorian age. The story centers on a young millionaire socialist who leaves his bride at the altar and infiltrates a girls'' school in order to indoctrinate the future wives of Britain''s political leaders with the teachings of Marx and Engels. Smash is also the debut of the Carl Cherry Center''s new facelift. Cast includes Ron Cohen, Peter Eberhardt, John Farmanesh, Roo Hornady, Michael Lojkovic, Deirdre McCauley and Michael Robbins. Carl Cherry Center for the Arts, Guadalupe Streeet and 4th Avenue, Carmel. 646-9478. $14/general; $12/children; $12/seniors. Through: 3/21.
The Hobbit Friday, 7pm. Children. Middle Earth is the setting for J.R.R. Tolkien''s The Hobbit, a mystical tale of goblins, trolls, elves and 13 mighty dwarves that was mandatory reading for any child of the ''60s. ARIEL Theatrical and a cast of 57 children and adults brings the tale to the stage in a series of performances for local schoolchildren, and finally two shows for the general public (3/12 at Sherwood Hall). Christopher Gilkey stars as the intrepid hobbit Bilbo Baggins, who helps the dwarves recover their sacred Arkenstone, secreted in the lair of a fire-breathing dragon. Advance tickets may be purchased at Sherwood Hall box office. Sherwood Hall, Salinas. 484-2228. $10/general; $6/children; $10/seniors. Through: 3/12.