PDN Photo of the Day

Ray K. Metzker: “Invention and play work together.”

Ray K. Metzker: Black & Light opens tonight at Howard Greenberg Gallery. The exhibition will run through March 2, 2019. After the gallery announced their primary representation of Metzker’s estate in 2018, this inaugural exhibition of his photographs will survey more than 50 works. Many of the photographs are well known and others were recently discovered in the artist’s archive and are being shown in public for the first time.

“One of the great photographers of the modern era, Ray K. Metzker (1931-2014) is known for repeatedly reinventing his approach to the medium throughout his life. He is considered a master of light, shadow, and line whose work pushed the limits of what seemed formally possible in black and white photography,” writes the gallery in a statement.

Ray K. Metzker: Black & Light surveys his early street photography from Chicago in the 1950s and Philadelphia in the 1960s, images from an extended trip to Europe in 1960-61, photographs from the series Pictus Interruptus from 1976-1980, work from his series City Whispers from the early 1980s, and examples from his collage series Whimsy and Arrestation.

Metzker challenged prevailing notions of what was possible with black and white photography, creating his own unique visual vocabulary. “Invention and play work together,” stated Metzker describing his methodology. “When it is finally time to invent, I am soaring.”

Ray K. Metzker was born in 1931 in Milwaukee. In his over-60-year career, Metzker had more than 50 solo exhibitions at major museums around the world and was the recipient of numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and a Royal Photographic Society’s Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship. His work is in the collections of more than 40 institutions and is the subject of more than 10 monographs.

Ray K. Metzker: Black & Light
Howard Greenberg Gallery
January 10 – March 2, 2019

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