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New Yorker Review: TWO OF A MIND at Laurence Miller Gallery

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Updated: Friday, January 03, 2014

RAY K. METZKER: Pictus Interruptus
RUTH THORNE-THOMSEN: Expeditions

Through November 17, 2012


Coinciding with a major retrospective of Metzker's work at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Two of a Mind brings together the work of the husband and wife duo Ray Metzker and Ruth Thorne-Thomsen for the first time. Their explorations with and challenges of the photographic medium share overlapping approach; both sought to call into question the sense of truth or reality that for many was part and parcel of the medium. While stylistically the two spoke with unique voice, the intent and means were shared.

Both artists introduced foreign objects into their frames. Laurence Miller Gallery pairs works made between 1976 and 1991. From Metzker come images from his Pictus Interruptus series, and from Thorne-Thomsen come works from her Expeditions and Door series, as well as Prima Materia and Songs of the Sea series.

The high-contrast even graphic frames of Metzker are of cities and land- expanses of space that

become interrupted by cool planes, deep shadows, fragments of appropriated images and more. The effect is at times playful as in Pictus Interruptus (77FW60), 1977, at times easily defined as in Pictus Interruptus (77FB22), 1977, and in some moments even hard to distinguish as in Pictus Interruptus (78BW19), 1978. Space begins to push and pull- volume and flatness become fluid and continue to redefine before our eyes as we effort to determine what it is that we are being presented with.

Thorne-Thomsen's prints are full of mystery, allure, and other worldliness. Made with a pinhole camera their appearance is soft and illusive- the lines seem unfixed, and the artist's inclusion of trinkets, toys, ornaments and charms shift perception. We discover our desire to believe in the impossible vignettes in the same moment we know they are fabricated. Truth shattered, a new reality is created, an intangible mythic reality that enchants and calls for us to frame with story.

The questions of "what" and "how" emerge in all the works we find in Two of a Mind. This dialogue is no longer new, but we experience with fresh eyes the success of the artists intent for us to question the reality of or truth to the photograph. While we appreciate these works for their accomplishment, we know too that the larger purpose was to carry this revelation with us whenever we gaze at a photographic image.

For more on this exhibition please visit Laurence Miller Gallery

Information on the Metzker retrospective at the J.Paul Getty here.

New Yorker Review

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