The Photographs of Ray K. Metzker

Location: Bloch Building, Gallery L11

January 15, 2011—June 5, 2011

Free admission.

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Metzker’s photographs strike a unique balance between formal brilliance, optical innovation, and a deep human regard for the objective world. This show will survey the key aspects of Metzker’s long career: Chicago (1956-59); Europe (1960-61); Philadelphia cityscapes (1962-63); double-image “couplets” and multi-image composites (1964-69); optical abstractions (“Pictus Interruptus” series of 1977-80); later Chicago and Philadelphia cityscapes (1981-84); landscapes (1985-95); and his recent city pictures (1996-2009).

Approaching 80 years of age, Ray Metzker is one of the most dedicated, innovative, and influential American photographers of the last half century. His work is at once varied in approach and rigorously unified in creative sensibility: he is interested in both the reality of the world and in the inventive potential of the photographic process itself. Thanks to a 2009 gift from the Hall Family Foundation, the Nelson-Atkins now has the largest institutional holding of Metzker’s work (92 prints) in the country.

This exhibition is supported by the Hall Family Foundation and the Campbell-Calvin Fund and Elizabeth C. Bonner Trust for exhibitions.

Image: Ray K. Metzker, American (b. 1931). Philadelphia, 1983. Gelatin silver print. Gift of Hallmark Cards, Inc., 2005.27.1963. © Ray K. Metzker, Courtesy of the Laurence Miller Gallery.

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