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Photo of the Week #44

Ray K Metzker

RAY K. METZKER ​Frankfurt, Germany, 1961

Ray K Metzker
Frankfurt, Germany, 1961


July 8, 2019
We are pleased to offer for sale one of the earliest prints made by Ray Metzker of this classic, frequently reproduced image. Metzker's inventory records indicate that this print was the first to be released from his studio. It was featured in Metzker's extensive one-person show at the Milwaukee Art Center in 1970. 

The print is mounted, signed twice, measures 6 1/8" x 9" and printed no later than 1968. When Ray and I began our collaboration in 1982, we agreed that going forward all his non-unique works would be put into small editions, including prints that had previously been released.  At that time we assigned this print the edition  number 1/25.

Harry Callahan is most often cited as having had the greatest influence on the photography of his student Ray K. Metzker at the Institute of Design in Chicago in the late '50's.. But perhaps  this bold abstract photograph is more the embodiment of the Bauhaus teaching philosophy of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, who founded the I. D., commonly referred to as the Chicago Bauhaus, in 1937.
Its simple elegance certainly echoes some of Callahan's most minimal images, like his single grass seen against the sky; but the bird's eye view more closely resembles Moholy-Nagy's propensity to look at the world from unusual points of view.