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Photo of the Week #37

Ray K. Metzker

Ray K. Metzker, A Maze In Philadelphia, 1967/1984

Ray K. Metzker, A Maze 'n Philadelphia, 1967/1984


May 28, 2019
Once in a decade does a museum-quality masterwork come back to the market that changes perceptions and valuations. A Maze 'n Philadelphia, completed in 1984 for inclusion in his retrospective Unknown Territory, curated by Anne Tucker for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is easily one of Metzker's most ambitious composites, measuring 67 x 50 x 3 1/2 inches.
John Szarkowski, former Director of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art and curator of Metzker's 1967 exhibition of 12 composites, wrote in his 1989 book Photography Until Now:
Perhaps Ray Metzker....was the first photographer to make big pictures that were not simply enlargements of small ones.  His photo-collages were designed to lead a fundamentally abstract life when seen from a distance, and a highly particularized one from up close.  In spite of their split character, the pictures are good to look at, at both ranges.

Although his work shares an affinity with several minimalist artists of his generation, Metzker unquestionably identified with the kinetic sculpture of Jean Tinguely which he forst experineced in Basel.  

Nearly all of Metzker's large scale works are in major museum collections, including MOMA; the Metropolitan Museum of Art;, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; The Art Institute of Chicago; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Cleveland Museum of Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; among others.
Serious Inquiries Welcome.