Ray K. Metzker, Philadelphia, 1963
 
         Philadelphia, 1963


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Ray K. Metzker: The Photographs of Ray K. Metzker
The Photographs of Ray K. Metzker


More Publications
by Ray K. Metzker


 

Ray K. Metzker

Ray K. Metzker has quietly been making extraordinary photographs for the better part of six decades. Today, he is recognized as one of the great masters of American photography, a virtuoso who has pursued his chosen medium passionately for fifty years. 

Metzker was born in 1931 in Milwaukee and attended the Institute of Design, Chicago--a renowned school that had a few years earlier been dubbed the New Bauhaus-- from 1956 to 1959. He was thus an heir to the avant-garde photography that had developed in Europe in the 1920's. Early in his career, his work was marked by unusual intensity. Composites, multiple-exposure, superimposition of negatives, juxtapositions of two images, solarization and other formal means were part and parcel of his vocabulary.  He was committed to discovering the potential of black and white photography during the shooting and the printing, and has shown consummate skill in each stage of the photographic process. Ray Metzker's unique and continually evolving mastery of light, shadow and line transform the ordinary in the realm of pure visual delight.

Major American museums began showing an interest in Metzker's work in the 1960's. Cementing his reputation as a master photographer, the museum of Modern Art in New York gave him his first one-man show in 1967. Retrospectives were organized in 1978 by the International Center of Photography in New York, and in 1984 by the Museum of fine Arts in Houston. The Houston exhibit was subsequently shown at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, the International Museum of Photography, Rochester, and the National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC.

 


Selected Images

 

1950s - 1960s

 

Chicago, 1957
8 x 10" silver print
Edition 25

 

Chicago, 1958
8 x 10" silver print

Edition 3


 

Chicago, 1958
8 x 10" silver print
Edition 5


 

Philadelphia, 1962
8 x 10" silver print
Edition 25

 

 


Philadelphia, 1963
8 x 10" silver print
Edition 10

 

 

Philadelphia, 1964
10 x 8" silver print
Edition 25

 

Philadelphia, 1964
10 x 8" silver print
Edition 20


Philadelphia
Penn Center, 1965
6 x 6"" silver print


Atlantic City, 1966
11 x 14" silver print
Edition 25

 

 


Composites 

A Maze'n Philadelphia
A Maze 'N Philadelphia, 1967/1984
Composite of 14 mounted prints
67 x 51.5" Signed on verso
Unique
SOLD

Hot Diggedy
Hot Diggedy, 1967-2002
Composite of 8 mounted prints
35 x 42" Signed on recto
Unique

1105 Window
1105 Window, 1965
Composite of 12 mounted prints
30 x 22" Signed on verso
Unique

Anonymous
Anonymous, 1962/1992
Composite of 154 mounted prints
23.5 x 21" Signed on verso
Unique

Flutterbye
Flutterbye, 2007
Composite of 13 mounted prints
24 x 20" Signed on verso
Unique

Sea Salt
Sea Salt, 1965
Composite of 12 mounted prints
20 x 16" Signed on verso
Unique
SOLD

Chicago
Chicago, 1959
Vintage gelatin silver print
10 x 8" Signed on verso
One of two known vintage prints
SOLD

Parking Pavillion
Parking Pavilion, 1967
Composite of 14 mounted prints
30 x 22" Signed on recto
Unique

Venetian Blind
Venetian Blind, 1966
Composite of 10 mounted prints
22 x 30" Signed on recto
Unique

Whimsy #3
Whimsy #3, 1974
Composite of 4 mounted prints
10 x 10"
Unique

Whimsy #10
Whimsy #10, 1974
Composite of 4 mounted prints
10 x 10"
Unique

Nude
Nude, 1966/1985
Composite of 7 mounted prints
32 x 21" Signed on recto
#13/20 (only 14 completed)

Soxy
Soxy, 1973
Composite of 20 mounted prints
13 x 12 " Signed on recto
Unique

 

Zip Squared
Zip Squared, 1964
Composite of 16 mounted prints
15 x 14" Signed on recto
Unique

Singing in the Rain
Singing in the Rain
Composite of 20 prints
9 x 11 3/8" on 16 x 20" mount
Signed on recto
Unique
SOLD

Wispy
Wispy, c. 1974
Composite of 9 prints
6.5 x 6.5" on 16 x 14" mount
Signed on recto
Unique

 

Wispy
Wispy, c. 1974
Composite of 16 prints
8 x 8" on 16 x 14" mount
Signed on recto
Unique
SOLD

Yatata
Yatata, c. 1974
Composite of 16 prints
7 1/4 x 7 1/4" on 16 x 14" mount
Signed on recto
Unique
SOLD

Majoodles
Majoodles, 1966-2007
Composite of 20 vintage prints
Prints made c. 1966, mounted 2007
18.8 x 22" Signed on recto
Unique

Up, Up and Away
Up, Up and Away, 1965-2002
Composite of 4 mounted prints
19 x 19" Signed on recto
Unique

In Situ
In Situ, 1964-2006
Composite of 15 mounted prints
8.25 x 9" on 20 x 16" mount
Signed on recto
Unique

 


 

Couplets and Double Frames 


Philadelphia, 1965
(double frame)

8 x 10" silver print
Edition 25

 

 

 

Philadelphia, 1965
(double frame)

10 x 8" silver print
Edition 25

Philadelphia, 1966
(double frame)
10 x 8" silver print
Edition 25

 

Atlantic City, 1968
(couplet)
10 x 8" silver print
Edition 20


 

Atlantic City, 1968
(couplet)
10 x 8" silver print
Edition 25


 

 

Philadelphia, 1968
(double frame)
14 x 11" silver print
Edition 25


Landscapes 

 

Denver, Colorado, 1986
from the series Earthly Delights
16 x 20" silver print
Edition 25

Virginia, 1988
from the series Earthly Delights
16 x 20" silver print
Edition 25

 

 

Provence, France, 1989
from the series Sojourn
16 x 20" silver print
Edition 25

Provence, France, 1989
from the series Sojourn
16 x 20" silver print
Edition 25

Moab, Utah, 1994
16 x 20" silver print
Edition 25

 

 

Moab, Utah, 1995
16 x 20" silver print
Edition 25


Gallery Exhibitions

    Metzker: Whimsy | Becotte: Luminations    September 5 - October 26, 2013

    Two of a Mind    September 12 - November 17, 2012

    Ray K. Metzker: Composites 1964-2007  March 7 - March 11, 2012

    Ray K. Metzker: Intimations  January 6 - February 26, 2011

    Ray K. Metzker: AutoMagic  Nov 24, 2009 - Jan 9, 2010

    Ray K. Metzker: Wanderings   March 14 - May 2, 2009

  Ray K. Metzker: Singular Sensations   Nov. 1, 2007 - Jan 12, 2008 

 


Press

New Yorker

Review: Ray K. Metzker: Intimations   1/24/11
by Vince Aletti

"Among Metzker's contemporaries, only Harry Callahan and Lee Friedlander can compare in range, depth, and inventiveness." View exhibition

New Yorker

Review: Ray K. Metzker | AutoMagic   12/14/09

A survey of photographs involving automobiles provides an ideal opportunity to study the terrific sweep and intelligence of Metzker's inventiveness. Made between 1958 and 2009, the black-and-white work often falls between representation and abstraction: cars are reduced to gleaming outlines and bulky shapes within graphic compositions. The largest and most recent pictures treat their reflective surfaces as fun-house mirrors, distorting the surrounding streetscapes. But earlier images, on a more intimate scale, are also more engaging; evidence of an eye always alert to moments when the ordinary turns sublime. Breaking with the abstract impulse are several fine photographs of people in their cars that suggest a whole other line of inquiry.  View exhibition



 Contact the gallery for additional information regarding Ray K. Metzker