Ray K. Metzker ‘AutoMagic’ (Photo Series)

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Philadelphia, (63 BT-40)
vintage silver print
8 x 10″
1963
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Philadelphia, (63 AX-26)
vintage silver print
8 x 10″
1963
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Philadelphia, (63 AI-31)
vintage silver print
8 x 10″
1963
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Philadelphia, (63 KG-44)
vintage silver print
8 x 10″
1963
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Philadelphia, (63 DO-41)
vintage silver print
8 x 10″
1963
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Chicago, (58 AX-22)
vintage silver print
8 x 10″
1958
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Philadelphia, (65 HM-33)
vintage silver print
8 x 10″
1965
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Philadelphia, (63 EC-37)
vintage silver print
8 x 10″
1963
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Philadelphia, (64 AU-13)
vintage silver print
8 x 10″
1964
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From his earliest street pictures taken under the El in Chicago’s Loop in the mid-Fifties, to his most recent highly abstract views of reflections on Philadelphia car windows, Ray K. Metzker brings an exuberance of vision rarely found among today’s photographers. In total control of his camera and craft, Metzker transforms the mundane in daily urban life into intense images that sizzle, and delight the eye. In the darkest recesses of a parking garage, we discover a single shimmering tail fin of a late 50’s Cadillac. In a scene more Orson Welles than Woody Allen, we witness a menacing shadow figure approaching a parked car, intent unknown. In a blizzard, we join the photographer and a single figure as they look at one another wondering why each other is standing there in the cascading snow.

The show also reveals a more tender side of Metzker, as we peer into car windows to see folks uninhibited within their mobile shelters, including a sleeping man with a medallion, head resting on the door; a man reading at the wheel of his damaged white coupe; and a man at the end of long day, hand upon his head. Metzker’s work of the last few years, fondly nicknamed Autowackies, are a brilliant extension of his earlier forays into abstraction, and are only made possible by the contours of our newest cars, which warp the architecture and cloud formations reflected on their glossy surfaces. [LMK]

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Ray K. Metzker : Laurence Miller Gallery

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