philadelphia

Ray Metzker

Dolan/Maxwell

In the 36 photographs from the “Earthly Delights” series, 1986–88, Ray Metzker is face to face with the landscape, with the thick of twisted branches where underbrush and overgrowth prevail. Primarily known as a photographer of cities—their architecture and people—Metzker lyrically addresses this rural subject with a new use of light, the element that has always been the strongest in his formal vocabulary. In nearly half of these photographs, light bears the greatest influence on the image and provides the viewer with an unexpected idea of the landscape. These woods are aglow. Even before the image can be clearly identified, the wash of light is pervasive enough to suggest that it might be what this woody growth is made of. Between the density of the landscape and the openness of the light, the paradox and poetry of this experience is revealed. The light has the power of something discovered

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