Ray Metzker’s Pictus Interruptus series, made between 1976 and 1981, offers us inexplicable images - landscapes and cityscapes disrupted by abstract forms that combine, complement, and contrast with recognizable elements of the city or the land. He achieved these myriad effects by way of a simple premise-in each picture a single object, an "interrupter", is held up between the camera's lens and the subject.
In Metzker's own words from his journal at the time: "It becomes clearer...that I am looking for the unknown which in fact disturbs, is foreign in subject but hauntingly right for the picture, the workings of which seem inexplicable, at the very least, a surprise."
Reviewing the show for the New Yorker Vince Aletti said:
"Metzker is experimental, restless, and brilliant—a street photographer who sees the world in fragments and distortions. “Pictus Interruptus,” the black-and-white series shown here, is especially disorienting, each image a cleverly unbalanced mixture of in-focus and out-of-focus elements, including pieces of paper thrust before the lens. The resulting abstractions render the urban landscape almost unrecognizable—a fun house you wouldn’t mind getting lost in.