Location: Bloch Building, Gallery L11January 15, 2011—June 5, 2011
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.