Each 1 5/8 x 8 5/8 in. (4.1 x 21.9 cm)
Composite 10 x 8 5/8 in. (25.4 x 21.9 cm)
Overall 19 3/4 x 17 3/4 in. (50.2 x 45.1 cm)
From the Catalogue:
Combining multiple exposures, repetition of imagery and stark tonal variation, Ray Metzker’s composites transform his photographs into abstract representations of form and, in doing so, highlight the medium’s possibilities beyond mere documents of reality. While photography’s innate process results in the isolation of a single moment from its greater context, Metzker looks to “investigate the possibilities of synthesis,” offering a confluence of moments and ideas within a single work, as evident here in Blind Man’s Bluff.
Metzker studied at Chicago’s Institute of Design from 1956-1959 in a program developed by Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind. The images used in this 1990 composite were taken in 1966, the year before his groundbreaking exhibition of composites—then referred to as photographic mosaics—at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Another example of this work is in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.
—Courtesy of Phillips
Signature: Signed and numbered 3/10 in pencil on the mount; printed credit, title, date and number 3/10 on a gallery label affixed to the reverse of the frame. Please note only 5 composites from the edition of 10 were realized.
Laurence Miller Contemporary Photographs, New York
About Ray Metzker
Considered one of the great masters of American photography, Ray Metzker is known for his vigorously experimental style, including his creation of “multiples”, assemblages of printed strips and single-frame images. A student of Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind at Chicago’s Institute of Design, which was dubbed the “New Bauhaus” after it opened under the direction of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Metzker embraced the school’s avant-garde values. There came to be “a marriage, something of both Siskind and Callahan flowing inside me,” he once said. Metzker’s images are typically characterized by high contrast tones, dynamic angles, and precise compositions of line and shadow. He frequently experimented with multiple exposures and the juxtaposition of images. In an early work, Metzker printed a sequence of 25 images of the brightly lit landing at the base of a dark flight of stairs, presented as a single grid-like picture. Figures appear ascending or descending the stairs, to a rhythmic effect that recalls the photographic innovations of Eadweard Muybridge.
American, 1931-2014, Milwaukee, WI, USA, based in Philadelphia, PA, United States