Feb 26, 2008

Composites: Philadelphia (Apertures)

Composites: Philadelphia (Apertures)


Ray K. Metzker

(American, 1931–2014)

Gelatin silver prints

Image: 36.5 x 57.7 cm (14 3/8 x 22 11/16 in.); Matted: 71.1 x 81.3 cm (28 x 32 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1986.93



Between 1964 and 1967, Ray Metzker produced a body of experimental work that explored serial imagery and the grid—concepts that also intrigued painters and sculptors of that time. A montage comprising 240 individual photographs, this urban image abandons the conventional single-frame format for a new pictorial approach. Taken while looking out of or up at buildings in Philadelphia, twelve separate 35 mm negatives are repeated throughout the composite photograph. Sometimes turned or printed in reverse, each negative was contact-printed numerous times to present the viewer with multiple viewpoints. Through repetition, juxtaposition, and sequencing, Metzker suggests the multiplicity and vitality of city life.

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