The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, August 18, 2019

Musée de l'Elysée Presents Ray K. Metzker Retrospective
Ray K. Metzker, Washington DC, 1964 © Ray K. Metzker.

LAUSANNE.-Musée de l'Elysée presents Ray K. Metzker Retrospective on view through January 6, 2008. Ray K. Metzker is recognized as one of the great masters of American photography, a virtuoso who has pursued his chosen medium passionately for fifty years. Even early in his career, Metzker’s work was marked by unusual intensity. Drawing inspiration from the things around him, he was acutely perceptive in any environment. This retrospective at the Musée de l’Elysée reveals the full extent of a body of work still relatively unknown from the European public. Over 200 vintage prints are being shown in Europe for the first time. The exhibition, which also provides the opportunity to take stock of the historical significance of Metzker’s work, was organized in close collaboration with the photographer himself and the Laurence Miller Gallery in New York.

Major American museums began showing an interest in Metzker’s work in the 1960s. Cementing his reputation as a master photographer, the Museum of Modern Art in New York gave him his first big one-man show in 1967. Retrospectives were organized in 1978 by the International Center of Photography in New York, and, in 1984, by the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. The Houston exhibit was subsequently shown in several other major American cities. Metzker himself has lost none of his enthusiasm for photography, which he continues to explore full force.

Born in 1931 in Milwaukee (Wisconsin), Ray K. Metzker attended the Institute of Design, Chicago – a renowned school that had a few years earlier been dubbed the New Bauhaus – from 1956 to 1959. He was thus an heir to the avant-garde photography that had developed in Europe in the 1920s. Composites, multiple-exposure, superposition of negatives, juxtaposition of two images, solarization and other formal means were part and parcel of Metzker’s vocabulary. Since his youth, Metzker was committed to discovering the potential of black and white photography during the shooting and the printing. He has shown consummate skill in each stage of the photographic process.

HIS WORK - In Metzker’s photographs, ordinary sights take on a sculptural feel: passersby, lost in thought, are captured by his lens like motifs against the vast and somber backdrops of city streets. A wall flooded with light, a piercing ray of sun, grass parched from the summer heat: urban spaces have inspired the photographer throughout his long career – Chicago in the early days, but mainly Philadelphia, which appears again and again. When he photographed people at the beach in Atlantic City (Sand Creatures), Metzker was drawn by their unconstrained body postures. Daily life in all its forms offered Metzker a pretext for photographic discovery.

To earn his living, Metzker taught photography at various schools, an occupation that left him with relatively great amounts of free time to travel around the United States and Europe. Each one of his trips fed his work by opening up new avenues for experimentation. In the 1960s, in an attempt to push back the limits of the photographic medium, he created images based on multiple exposure or joining two negatives together into a single image (couplets, double frames, composites). In 1970, when he was teaching at the University of New Mexico, the quality of the light, unlike anything he had known in Philadelphia, was the source of a whole new vocabulary for Metzker. Several years later, in Greece, he began work on a new series, Pictus Interruptus, in which he deliberately blocked out parts of the extraordinary – but anticipated – landscape. In the early 1980s, back in Philadelphia, he turned his focus to human figures emerging from urban environments that remain dark despite the sunlight. His discovery, on a trip to Italy in 1985, of the photographic effects of strong light on vegetation – nuanced tones of white and gray, completely different from the deep blacks of the city – opened his work up to landscape, and the movement of nature, and fueled his interest for the following fifteen years.

Today's News

December 30, 2007

The Nationalmuseum in Stockholm Presents Alexander Roslin - Sweden's Forgotten Art Icon

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis Presents Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes

Musée de l'Elysée Presents Ray K. Metzker Retrospective

Picasso & Delaunay: The Book as Inspiration

Art Museum Brings Exhibition with Innovative Drawings to Knoxville

RHA Drawing Show - Glór, Ennis, Co. Clare

Freedom in Flashes Published by Honigherz

Flip: Rachel Beach and Nora Herting

Call for Entries - John Moores 25 Contemporary Painting Prize

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Conservation reveals Wellington Collection work was painted by Titian's Workshop

2.- New dinosaur discovered after lying misidentified in university's vaults for over 30 years

3.- Unseen Texas Chainsaw Massacre outtakes and stills sold for a combined $26,880

4.- National gallery reveals conserved Italian altarpiece by Giovanni Martini da Udine

5.- London's Tate Modern evacuated after child falls, teen arrested

6.- Bavarian State Minister of the Arts restitutes nine works of art

7.- Boy thrown from London's Tate Modern is French tourist visiting UK

8.- Child thrown from London gallery has broken spine, legs and arm

9.- £10 million Turner masterpiece may leave British shores

10.- Tourists banned from sitting on Rome's Spanish Steps

Related Stories

Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York

Tunisia to auction ousted despot's treasures

Andy Warhol's Mao portraits excluded from the Beijing and Shanghai shows next year

China criticises French Qing dynasty seal auction

Christie's announces auction marking the first half century of the popular and luxurious interiors shop Guinevere

Nine new exhibits debut at San Diego International Airport

Rembrandt masterpiece "Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet" back on display at National Museum Cardiff

Amber: 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin is Baltic gold

Egyptian artist Iman Issa wins the Ist FHN Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Award

The main chapel of the Basilica of Santa Croce open for visits after five year restoration

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful