Atlantic City, 1966
Ray Metzker - The Shape of Light presents a concise group of ten pictures from across five decades of Metzker’s remarkable career. From seeing his darkroom experiments alongside his singular street photographs it becomes clear that his core subject was always light itself. In the earliest picture from 1957 we see the illuminated marquee of Chicago’s RKO Grand Theater refracted like a constellation of man-made stars via multiple exposures. A similar image is created with a straight photograph nearly a decade later in Atlantic City as he captures splinters of light cascading across the darkened walkway beneath the boardwalk. In Philadelphia Metzker trains his camera on the dramatic shafts of urban light that render shadows as solidly as slabs of black marble. Consistently throughout all of the work fleeting moments of light and shade are masterfully rendered as the form and subject of Metzker’s pictures. This selection of prints distills that essence, showing the wellspring that Metzker returned to time and time again – the shape of light.