Ray Metzker, ‘Sailor’, 1963, Jackson Fine Art

Signature: Signed, dated, and editioned in pencil recto. Printed 1997.

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, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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