Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy - Venice (Light Under Church Doors)

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Image of Venice (Light Under Church Doors)

Ray K. Metzker , (Sep 10, 1931–Oct 9, 2014)

Venice (Light Under Church Doors)

8 x 10 in. (20.3 x 25.4 cm)

Medium and Support: Gelatin silver print
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Accession Number: 2015.4


Gallery label for Light/Dark, White/Black, January 17 - July 31, 2015

Rays of sunlight passing through the cracked doors of a Venetian church form a cross-like shape, while the dark interior space provides a seductively pure black backdrop. Perhaps one of the most powerful images among Ray Metzker’s early work, Venice was taken during the photographer’s own version of the Grand Tour. After completing his graduate work at the Institute of Design in Chicago, where he was immersed in the legacy of Bauhaus master László Moholy-Nagy while studying with accomplished photographers Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind, Metzker decided to fulfill his dream of traveling to Europe. While he spent a considerable amount of his time in Innsbruck, Austria, he also drove across the continent from Scandinavia, Germany, and England to Yugoslavia, and from Hungary and Italy to Portugal, photographing continuously with a 35mm Leica. Reflecting on this period, Metzker noted the importance of this photograph as a landmark in the development of his aesthetics.

Kelley Tialiou
Charles H. Sawyer Curatorial Assistant | Librarian | Archivist

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