Ray K. Metzker - Photographs New York Thursday, April 8, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Laurence Miller Contemporary Photographs, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    Only 5 composites from the intended edition of 10 were realized.

    Combining multiple exposures, repetition of imagery and stark tonal variation, Ray Metzker’s composites transform his photographs into abstract representations of form and, in doing so, highlight the medium’s possibilities beyond mere documents of reality. While photography’s innate process results in the isolation of a single moment from its greater context, Metzker looks to “investigate the possibilities of synthesis,” offering a confluence of moments and ideas within a single work, as evident here in Blind Man’s Bluff.

    Metzker studied at Chicago’s Institute of Design from 1956-1959 in a program developed by Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind. The images used in this 1990 composite were taken in 1966, the year before his groundbreaking exhibition of composites—then referred to as photographic mosaics—at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Another example of this work is in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Blind Man's Bluff

Composite of six gelatin silver prints, printed and assembled 1990, mounted together on board.
Each 1 5/8 x 8 5/8 in. (4.1 x 21.9 cm)
Composite 10 x 8 5/8 in. (25.4 x 21.9 cm)
Overall 19 3/4 x 17 3/4 in. (50.2 x 45.1 cm)

Signed and numbered 3/10 in pencil on the mount; typed credit, title, date and edition on a gallery label affixed to the reverse of the frame.

$16,000 - 22,000 

Sold for $18,900

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Deputy Chairman, Americas



New York Auction 8 April 2021