Upcoming Exhibition
September 4 - October 25, 2014

Ray K. Metzker
ONE AND ONLY: Unique photographs and works on paper


ONE AND ONLY

Esteemed as a photographer, Ray Metzker's creative practice was nevertheless unbounded by the conventional borders of the medium. Metzker sought out methods that allowed him access to the full potential of photography as an art form. He continually explored the medium's untapped possibilities; at various times embracing the roll of film as a single picture, using the prints as building blocks for composite works, and even setting aside the camera to explore the expressive potential of the developing process itself.

Nowhere is his spirit of creative curiosity more evident than in the unique, non-editioned works that he crafted at every stage in his career. These one of a kind pieces are the focus of our new exhibition, many of them shown here for the first time.

A broad range of techniques and sensibilities are on display in this group of pictures. Even in some of the earliest pictures, dating from 1957, objects have been dissolved past the point of recognition leaving form and light as the subject. The world that comes back into focus later in the exhibition is often the natural one, as in his photograms from the 1990s where ghosts of leaves are traced onto the paper itself. Towards the end of the show's chronology there are light-drawn "landscapes" where wind whipped clouds and darkened horizons rise up not out of a camera's aperture but from light and the darkroom's chemicals alone. There is an elemental quality to these later works: they seem to be striving to depict an essence more than an image.

Some of the most revealing works included are the pieces that employ only cut and folded paper. Metzker was always a very material photographer, as his darkroom manipulations attest, and in these works it is as if concerns of photographic exposure have fallen away and he is directly arranging light and shade in this most tactile of ways.

It is notable that the spirit of playful invention is unflagging across the six decades of work collected for this exhibition. There is an impassioned curiosity on display that seems continually refreshed by the act of making. It tells us a great deal about his conception of photography that, in a medium known for reproduction, Metzker never stopped making unique, non-reproducible works. An edition of one if you will, like the man himself.

On the occasion of Ray's 83rd birthday, Laurence Miller Gallery invites you to experience more than three dozen of his one of a kind works, showing us that seeing is a unique act of creation.

Jacob Cartwright


Untitled, family home outside Milwaukee, 1957 (#1)
Untitled, family home outside Milwaukee, 1957 (#1)
Multiple exposure gelatin silver print,
7 ¾ x 9 5/8”
Stamp Signature on verso

Untitled, family home outside Milwaukee, 1957
Untitled, family home outside Milwaukee, 1957 (#1A)
Multiple exposure gelatin silver print,
7 ¾ x 9 5/8”
Stamp Signature on verso

Untitled, Chicago, February 1959
Untitled, Chicago, February 1959 (#5)
Multiple exposure gelatin silver print,
7 ¾ x 9 5/8”
Stamp Signature on verso

Untitled, Chicago, February 195
Untitled, Chicago, February 1959 (#1)
Multiple exposure gelatin silver print,
7 ¾ x 9 5/8”
Stamp Signature on verso

Chicago, Multiple exposure, 1958
Chicago, Multiple exposure, 1958
Gelatin silver print,
7 3/8 x 7 ½”
Signed and inscribed “Unique” on verso

Atlantic City, 1966
Atlantic City, 1966 (66 FD-2)
Gelatin silver print,
6 x 6”
Signed on verso

Composites:  Anonymous, 1962-1992
Composites: Anonymous, 1962-1992
154 mounted gelatin silver prints
13 ¼ x 10 7/8” framed to 25 x 22 ½”
Signed on verso

Composites: In the Depths III, 1967-1990
Composites: In the Depths III, 1967-1990
Seven vintage silver gelatin prints
30 x 24" mounted and framed
Signed on verso

Composites: Hula Cola, 1965-2002
Composites: Hula Cola, 1965-2002
Two gelatin silver prints, mounted,
30 ¾ x 6 ¾”
Framed to 37 x 17”
Signed and dated on recto

Strip Tease # 9, ca. 1966
Strip Tease # 9, ca. 1966
Gelatin silver contact print,
31 ½ x 1 ¼”
Stamp signature on verso

Strip Tease #68, ca. 1966
Strip Tease #68, ca. 1966
Gelatin silver contact print,
30 ¾ x 1 1/8”
Stamp signature on verso


Strip Tease #11, ca. 1968
Strip Tease #11, ca. 1968
Gelatin silver print,
2 ½ x 20 ½”
Stamp signature on verso


Composites: Pasta Mix, 1966
Composites: Pasta Mix, 1966
Three gelatin silver prints,
each 2 ¼ x 2 ¼”
Signed on mount

Whimsy #5, 1974
Whimsy #5, 1974
Four gelatin silver prints, mounted
4 ¼ x 4 ¼” within 10 x 10” frame
Signed and noted 1/5 on mount, Only one completed
Exhibited in The Discerning Eye: Southern California Collects,
Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, Sept. 2003-Jan. 2004

Untitled multiple print, 69 MX-XI, 1969
Untitled multiple print, 69 MX-XI, 1969
Gelatin silver print,
5 7/8” diameter
Signed on verso
Exhibited in METZKER, Milwaukee Art Center, 1970

Untitled multiple print, 69 MX-IX, 1969
Untitled multiple print, 69 MX-IX, 1969
Gelatin silver print,
5 7/8” diameter
Signed on verso
Exhibited in METZKER, Milwaukee Art Center, 1970

Untitled multiple print, 69 KC-MX, 1969
Untitled multiple print, 69 KC-MX, 1969
Gelatin silver print,
6 ¾ x 8 5/8”
Signed on verso
Exhibited in METZKER, Milwaukee Art Center, 1970

Type Script IX, 1975
Type Script IX, 1975
Gelatin silver print,
5 ½ x 11”
Signed on verso

Composites:  Rep Rep, 1983
Composites: Rep Rep, 1983
19 mounted gelatin silver prints,
Framed to 26 ½ x 30 ½”
Signed, dated and noted 1/15 on mount
Only one completed



Philadelphia, 1965 (65 GD-16)
Philadelphia, 1965 (65 GD-16)
Gelatin silver print,
4 x 5”
Stamp signature on verso



Philadelphia, 1965 (65 GD-14)
Philadelphia, 1965 (65 GD-14)
Gelatin silver print,
4 x 5”
Stamp signature on verso

Untitled, 1974 (CP-5)
Untitled, 1974 (CP-5)
Folded paper,
14 x 14”
Stamp signature on verso

Untitled, 1974 (CP-4)
Untitled, 1974 (CP-4)
Folded paper,
9 x 12”
Stamp signature on verso

Untitled, 1974 (CP-3)
Untitled, 1974 (CP-3)
Folded paper,
10 ¼ x 10 ¼”
Stamp signature on verso

Untitled, 1974
Untitled, 1974
Hole-punched paper,
4 x 4” on 10 x 10” mount
Stamp signature on verso

Untitled, 1974
Untitled, 1974
Hole-punched paper,
4 x 4” on 10 x 10” mount
Stamp signature on verso

Arrestation, 1995
Arrestation, 1995
Collage of gelatin silver prints,
7 3/8 x 7 3/8”
Signed and dated on recto

Untitled Collage
Untitled Collage, 1993
7 cut papers on mount,
8 x 7”,
Signed and dated on recto

Untitled light drawing, 1996
Untitled light drawing, 1996
Gelatin silver print,
10 ¼ x 9”
Signed on verso

Untitled light drawing, 1996
Untitled light drawing, 1996
Gelatin silver print,
4 x 5”
Signed on verso

Untitled light drawing, 1996
Untitled light drawing, 1996
Gelatin silver print,
4 x 5”
Signed on verso

Untitled light drawing, 1996
Untitled light drawing, 1996
Gelatin silver print,
10 ¾ x 13 ¼”
Signed on verso

Untitled light drawing, 2007
Untitled light drawing, 2007
Gelatin silver print,
11 x 13 ½”, mounted
Signed and dated on mount recto

Untitled light drawing, 1996
Untitled light drawing, 1996
Gelatin silver print,
15 x 19 ½”
Signed on verso

Untitled Photogram, 1991
Untitled Photogram, 1991
Gelatin silver print,
10 ¾ x 13 ¾”
Signed and dated on mount recto

Untitled Photogram, 1995
Untitled Photogram, 1995
Two Gelatin silver prints,
each 9 5/8 x 7 7/8”
Signed and dated on mount recto

Untitled Solarization, 1989 (89 KO-13D)
Untitled Solarization, 1989 (89 KO-13D)
14 x 11” Gelatin silver print
Stamp signature on verso

Untitled Photogram, 1998
Untitled Photogram, 1998
Gelatin silver print,
19 ¾ x 15 3/4”
Signed and dated on mount recto


Untitled Photogram, 1996
Untitled Photogram, 1996
Four gelatin silver prints,
each 14 x 11”
Framed to 23 ½ x 58 ¼”
Each print signed on verso

Composites:  Loveletter, 2007
Composites: Loveletter, 2007
10 Gelatin silver prints,
framed 20 x 17”
Signed on verso

Untitled, Philadelphia, ca. 2007
Untitled, Philadelphia, ca. 2007
Three mounted gelatin silver prints
Signed on mount recto,
framed to 16 x 20”

Untitled, Philadelphia, ca. 2007
Untitled, Philadelphia, ca. 2007
Two mounted gelatin silver prints
Signed on mount recto,
framed to 16 x 20”



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