Ray K Metzker, Philadelphia, 1983
September 12, 2018
Perhaps more than any other picture by Ray Metzker, this photograph exemplifies his brilliance as an artist. One could argue it is timeless, but I think it is of this moment. It is a picture about autumn. Not just the time of year, as the tree has shed most of its leaves, the man and woman have dressed for the chill, but for the artist himself, who was bringing to completion a three year exploration of urban life that he titled City Whispers....a rather dark series that reflected a certain loneliness combined with his frustration at the many voices that were proclaiming the death of modernism. In 1984, City Whispers, with widespread critical acclaim, became our very first exhibition of Ray Metzker's work.
Light spills down from a narrow slice of sky, while it caresses both the woman's figure as well as the edge of the tree. Perhaps it is a self-portrait. By 1985 Metzker's spirits had risen, he was in love, and off to Tuscany he went with fellow photographer Ruth Thorne-Thomsen. The resulting Tuscan landscapes, which he titled Feste Di Foglie, became the most luminous pictures from his entire career.
We are pleased to offer a rare vintage print of this classic work, from a sold out edition of thirty. The picture adorns the cover of two of Metzker's major monographs. It is consigned to LMG from the original purchaser in Madrid, who enjoyed it since 1995. I always found the Spanish audience to have an especially deep feeling for life, as well as the drama of light and dark.