Ray Metzker

the Poet of Light

November 5 – December 23, 2015

Ray Metzker Bilbao, Spain, 1960

Near Bilbao, Spain, 1960

8 x 10” gelatin silver print, printed 1984

#13/20, signed on verso

Ray Metzker Europe, 1960

Europe, 1960

7 x 9 ½” Vintage gelatin silver print

#2/2, stamp signature on verso

Ray Metzker 1961

Marseilles, France, 1961

8 x 10” Vintage gelatin silver print

AP from an edition of 5, stamp signature on verso

 

 

Ray Metzker Frankfurt, 1961

Frankfurt, 1961

8 x 10” vintage gelatin silver print

AP from an edition of 25, stamp signature on verso

Ray Metzker 1962, Philadelphia

Philadelphia, 1964

8 x 10” gelatin silver print, printed 2006

#3/5, stamp signature on verso

Ray Metzker 1963, Philadelphia

Philadelphia, 1963

8 x 10” gelatin silver print, printed 1986

AP from an edition of 15, signed on verso

Ray Metzker 1963, Philadelphia

Philadelphia, 1963

8 ¾ x 6” Vintage gelatin silver print, mounted

#2/5, stamp signature on mount verso

Ray Metzker 1963

Philadelphia, 1963

8 ¾ x 6” Vintage gelatin silver print, mounted

#1/5, stamp signature on mount verso

Ray Metzker 1963, Philadelphia

Philadelphia, 1963

8 x 10” gelatin silver print, printed 2009

#8/10, stamp signature on verso   

Ray Metzker 1963, Philadelphia

Philadelphia, 1963

8 x 10” gelatin silver print, printed 2009

#5/5, signed on verso    

Ray Metzker 1963, Philadelphia

Philadelphia, 1963

8 x 10” Vintage gelatin silver print

#3/5, stamp signature on verso

Ray Metzker Philadelphia, 1963

Philadelphia, 1963

8 x 10” gelatin silver print, printed 1985

AP from an edition of 10, stamp signature on verso

Ray Metzker Philadelphia), 1964

Philadelphia, 1964

10 x 8” gelatin silver print, printed 1980

AP5, from an edition of 20

Stamp signature on verso

Ray Metzker 1964, Philadelphia

Philadelphia, 1964

14 x 11” Vintage gelatin silver print

AP, from an edition of 5 oversize prints

Signed on verso

Ray Metzker 1964, Philadelphia

Philadelphia, 1964

10 x 8” gelatin silver print, printed 1980

#10/20, stamp signature on verso

Ray Metzker Philadelphia, 1964

Philadelphia, 1964

14 x 11” vintage gelatin silver print

#6/8, oversize print, stamp signature on verso

Ray Metzker 1964, Washington DC

Washington, D.C., 1964

8 x 10” gelatin silver print, printed 1989

AP from an edition of 15, stamp signature on verso

Ray Metzker Apertures (macquette), c. 1964

Apertures (macquette), c. 1964

4 ½ x 4” image area on mount

12 gelatin silver prints

Stamp signature on verso

Collection of the Estate of Ray Metzker

Ray Metzker nude composite 1966

Composite: Nude, 1966-1974

23 x 10", 7 mounted silver gelatin prints

unique

signed and dated on verso

Ray Metzker Calypso  1965

Composite: Untitled (Calypso), 1965

30 x 22”, 18 mounted Vintage gelatin silver prints

Unique

Signed on mount recto

Ray Metzker In the Depths 1967-1990

Composite: In the Depths III, 1967-1990

30 x 24,” 7 mounted vintage gelatin silver prints

Unique

Signed on recto

Ray Metzker 1968

Couplet: 1968, Philadelphia

8 x 10” Vintage gelatin silver print, mounted

#15/15, Signed on mount verso

 

Ray Metzker Atlantic City, 1971

Sand Creatures: Atlantic City, 1971

8 x 10” Vintage gelatin silver print

#5/5, stamp signature on verso

1971

silver gelatin print

Ray Metzker Atlantic City, 1971

Sand Creatures: Atlantic City, 1971

8 x 10” gelatin silver print, printed 1979

#5/10, stamp signature on verso

Ray Metzker Atlantic City, 1973

Sand Creatures: Atlantic City, 1973

8 x 10” Vintage gelatin silver print

#2/5, stamp signature on verso

Ray Metzker 1979, Mykonos, Greece

Pictus Interruptus: Mykonos, Greece, 1979

16 x 20” Vintage gelatin silver print

#30/30, stamp signature on verso

Ray Metzker 1981, Philadelphia

City Whispers: Philadelphia, 1981

11 x 14” gelatin silver print, printed 1992

 AP3, from an edition of 25, stamp signature on verso

Ray Metzker 1981, Philadelphia

City Whispers: Philadelphia, 1981

11 x 14” vintage gelatin silver print

# 4/25  , stamp signature on verso

Ray Metzker City Whispers: Philadelphia, 1983

City Whispers: Philadelphia, 1983

14 x 11” Gelatin silver print, printed 2000

#30/30, signed on verso

Ray Metzker Feste di Foglie, Italy 1985

Feste di Foglie: Italy 1985

20 x 16” gelatin silver print

#5/25, stamp signature on verso

Ray Metzker Italy 1985

Feste di Foglie: Italy 1985

20 x 16” gelatin silver print

#11/25, stamp signature on verso

Ray Metzker Earthly Delight, Denver, 1986

Earthly Delight: Denver, 1986

20 x 16” gelatin silver print, printed 2000

#19/25, signed on verso

Ray Metzker 1988

Earthly Delights: Virginia, 1988

20 x 16” vintage gelatin silver print

#2/5, signed on verso

Ray Metzker 1994

Utah, 1994

24 x 20” gelatin silver print

#16/25 , stamp signature on verso

Ray Metzker

Arrestation: 1996

10 x 8” Collaged vintage gelatin silver prints (2), mounted

Unique

Signed and dated on mount recto

Metzker Arrestation 1996

Arrestation: 1996

10 x 8” Collaged vintage gelatin silver prints (2), mounted

Unique

Signed and dated on mount recto

Ray Metzker, Composite:  Loveletter, 2007

Composite:  Loveletter, 2007

 12.5 x 10.5” on 20 x 17” mount

10 mounted gelatin silver prints

Unique

Signed on recto

Press Release

RAY K. METZKER: The Poet of Light   

November 5 – December 23, 2015

This exhibition features 36 black and white photographs made over five decades tracing the trajectory of Metzker’s fascination with light - in the landscape, the cityscape, and in the darkroom. The result was a body of work without peer in its vision, its experimentation, and its stunning beauty. And of course, the artist’s vision would not be nearly so impactful without the exquisite craft he demonstrated in all his print-making, a craft that is very much in evidence here.

In 1959, after completing the graduate program at the Institute of Design in Chicago, Metzker set off for Europe to find his own vision.  During this 20-month voyage, Metzker realized that light was his primary subject, and we see this awareness in many of the prints exhibited: in 1960 a close-up of grasses near Bilbao, followed by, in northern Italy, a multiple exposure of triangular shapes of light; the following year, in Marseilles, a woman walks from one shadow to another; and in Frankfurt, his classic view from a bridge of a kayaker silently gliding by.

 

In 1962, a teaching job brought Metzker to Philadelphia, where he continued to expand his vision and refine his technique.  Again, light played an ever-increasing role, whether in a triangle of paint glowing on darkened pavement, or in the outline of a black Cadillac in a garage.  By 1964, he began constructing images, which he titled ”Composites,” to better express the urban jitteriness he felt, and the exhibition features a small never-before-seen macquette of a grid of 12 contact prints of shapes of light seen between the tops of buildings, as well as a unique work titled In the Depths with seven strips of figures brightly lit and  isolated in shadows.  Twelve Composites were featured in a 1967 solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.

In the 1970’s, Metzker began to alternate between a deeper humanism and his insatiable appetite for formal experimentation. He photographed sun bathers in Atlantic City, including a 1973 humorous view of a man engulfed in a pool of shadow under his umbrella. Returning to Europe in the late 1970’s, he captured a Greek ferry setting sail,  but intertwined it with numerous shadows and empty fields of light to produce the kind of abstractions he explored in the series he entitled Pictus Interruptus.

He returned to the urban stage in the early 1980’s with his series City Whispers, and in the mid-1980’s he turned to landscapes in which light dematerializes branches and leaves, rendering one so softly it looks like fur.  In the 1990’s, not satisfied with just capturing light in the city and landscape, Metzker returned to the darkroom to make camera-less photograms, culminating in one of his last Composites, which he titled Loveletter, from 2007.