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Ray K Metzker: Stripteases + Penn Center Pieces

September 15 – November 1, 2016

Ray Metzker 1969

8 x 10"


Ray Metzker Penn Center Pieces, Philadelphia, 1965

Penn Center Pieces, Philadelphia, 1965
nine vintage gelatin silver prints
each 6 x 6"

Striptease Nº21, Philadelphia, 1965 (detail)

Striptease Nº21, Philadelphia, 1965 (detail)
gelatin silver print
1 x 21"

Ray Metzker Double Frame 1964

Double Frame: Wisconsin, 1964
vintage gelatin silver print
4x8.75", mounted

64KI 17-18

Ray Metzker 1959

Chicago, 1959
gelatin silver print
10 x 10" framed to 19 x 17"

59AF 1

Ray Metzker Nude

Composites: Nude, 1966 
unique macquette circa 1974 for later edition
seven gelatin silver prints
22.25 x 10", mounted and framed to 38.5 x 25.5

Ray Metzker Striptease

Striptease Nº84, 1968 (detail)
vintage gelatin silver print
1.5 x 18"

Ray Metzker Striptease

Striptease Nº8A, Philadelphia, 1966 (detail)
gelatin silver print
1.75 x 32.5"

Ray Metker Striptease

Striptease Nº 57-61, Philadelphia, circa 1966
unique assembly of five vintage gelatin silver prints
each print 2.5 x 13.25" framed to 21 x 20.25"

Ray Metzker Penn Center

Penn Center Piece VI, Philadelphia, 1965
vintage gelatin silver print
6 x 6"

Ray Metzker Double Frame 1962

Double Frame: Philadelphia, 1962
vintage gelatin silver print
5 x 9"

62DC 20-21

Ray Metzker Striptease

Striptease Nº83, Philadelphia, 1968 (detail)
vintage gelatin silver print
21 x 1.5"

Ray Metzker Striptease 1968

Striptease Nº76, Philadelphia, 1968 (detail)
gelatin silver print, unique
1.5 x 22"

Ray Metzker striptease 1965

Striptease Nº2, Philadelphia, 1965 (detail)
vintage gelatin silver print
2 x 31.5"

Ray Metzker Striptease

Striptease Nº67, Philadelphia, 1968 (detail)
vintage gelatin silver print
1.25 x 30"

Ray Metzker Striptease

Striptease Nº69, Philadelphia, 1966 (detail)
vintage gelatin silver print
31.5 x 1"

Ray Metzker Rep Rep 1983

Composites: Rep Rep, 1983
19 gelatin silver prints
18 x 22.5", mounted and framed to 28.5 x 32.75"

Ray Mezker Gumball 1966

Composites: Gumball, 1966/1990
five gelatin silver prints
7 x 7", framed to 14 x 13.5"

Ray Metzker Striptease

Striptease Nº75, Atlantic City, 1968 (detail)
vintage gelatin silver print
1.5 x 10"

Ray Metzker Philadelphia 1964

Philadelphia, 1964
gelatin silver print
5 x 4"


Ray Metzker Striptease

Striptease Nº12, Philadelphia, circa 1968
flush mounted vintage gelatin silver print
3.5 x 14"

Ray Metzker City Drillers

Composites: City Drillers II, 1966/1983
seven gelatin silver prints
12.5 x 9", mounted and framed to 20 x 16.25"

Ray Metzker Striptease

Striptease 73, Philadelphia, 1966/67 (detail)
flush mounted vintage gelatin silver print
3.25 x 35.25"

Ray Metzker Striptease

Striptease Nº 56-51, New York City, 1966
unique assembly of six vintage gelatin silver prints
each print 2.5 x 13.25" framed to 24 x 20"

Ray Metzker Double Frame 1966

Double Frame: New York City, 1966
gelatin silver print
4 x 13"

66IS 18-19

Press Release

STRIPTEASES and PENN CENTER PIECES, featuring rare multiple-image photographic works by Ray Metzker from the mid 1960's, into the early 1990’s, will celebrate Metzker's 25th one-person show at Laurence Miller Gallery. Most of the works on display have never been exhibited before.

Fifty years ago, Metzker challenged the reigning doctrine of photography, the "decisive moment." He wrote: "...I began thinking of the entire roll of film as one negative. Ten inch sections of film were printed onto long strips of photographic paper and then mounted in rows, forming a final constructed piece which I called a composite...What I am talking about is complexity...There is no particular point of entry or procedure to the seeing; it is a multiplicity of elements operating in an aleatory manner."


In 1967, the Museum of Modern Art presented a one-person show of 12 composites, and the museum is presently displaying Trolley Stop, 1966, as part of their current exhibition FROM THE COLLECTION 1960 -1969.   

Living and working in a former 1851 Philadelphia fire house, Metzker printed many rolls of film, as well as individual multiply-exposed prints, from which he would cull the parts to combine into larger works. Quite often there would be surplus strips, as well as prints that defied his attempts to combine. In the years prior to his death in 2014, he recognized the playfulness and integrity of many of these strips, and the name Striptease was each strip was a tease for a potentially larger work. Production for his 1966 composite Penn Center yielded extra prints as well, which Metzker aptly named Penn Center Pieces.

This exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Nathan Lyons who passed away on August 31. Nathan was among the very first curators to exhibit and publish Ray Metzker's work in the early 1960’s.