Archive for November 2nd, 2012

02
Nov
12

Exhibition: ‘Two of a Mind’ at the Laurence Miller Gallery, New York

Exhibition dates: 12th September – 17th November, 2012

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

 

 

Ray Metzker. 'Pictus Interruptus (77EY24)' 1977

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Pictus Interruptus (77EY24)
1977
Gelatin silver print

 

 

I like both these bodies of work but it is the enigmatic Expeditions that leave the most lasting impression on my subconscious, out imagining the abstract distortions of Metzker in my mind’s eye. While the images of Pictus Interruptus are interesting in a textural way, the photographs of Thorne-Thomsen are truly magical – like a photographic version of Joseph Cornell’s boxes they engage you wistfully, holding you in a quiet, silent, attentive dreamspace. Some of the photographs are almost Jungian in their holistic balance. Photographs such as Levitating Man and Trio are truly memorable, and in our over saturated media environment it is wonderful to find images that make us slow down and inhale their aura. You contemplate these images: that is the word, contemplation. Enjoy.

.
PS. Prima Materia, a title of one of Thorne-Thomsen’s series, “is, according to alchemists, the alleged primitive formless base of all matter, given particular manifestation through the influence of forms… The alchemical operation consists essentially in separating the prima materia, the so-called Chaos, into the active principle, the soul, and the passive principle, Mind-body dichotomy, the body. They are then reunited in personified form in the coniunctio, the ritual combination of sol and Luna, which yields the magical child – filius philosophorum – the reborn self, known as the ultima materia.” (Wikipedia)

Jung undertook an analysis of the ritual and processes of alchemy and found that while the alchemists were trying to turn lead into gold by melting the lead down and reforming it as gold, what they were actually doing was letting go of their old identity and reforming it anew. This could be seen as an early form of psychoanalysis that encouraged the process of what Jung calls individuation, the emergence of a new identity as the ego dissolves into the Self. “The symbols of the individuation process…mark its stages like milestones’, prominent among them for Jungians being ‘”the shadow, the Wise Old Man… and lastly the anima (female) in man and the animus (male) in woman”‘. Thus ‘there is often a movement from dealing with the persona at the start… to the ego at the second stage, to the shadow as the third stage, to the anima or animus, to the self as the final stage. Some would interpose the Wise Old Man and the Wise Old Woman as spiritual archetypes coming before the final step of the Self’.” (Wikipedia)

I see elements of this inner work in the art of Ruth Thorne-Thomsen.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

.
Many thankx to the Laurence Miller Gallery for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

Ray Metzker. 'Pictus Interruptus (77FK42)' 1977

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Pictus Interruptus (77FK42)
1977
Gelatin silver print

 

Ray Metzker. 'Pictus Interruptus (78AD23)' 1978

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Pictus Interruptus (78AD23)
1978
Gelatin silver print

 

Ray Metzker. 'Pictus Interruptus (78BW19)' 1978

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Pictus Interruptus (78BW19)
1978
Gelatin silver print

 

Ray Metzker. 'Pictus Interruptus (80FP9a)' 1980

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Pictus Interruptus (80FP9a)
1980
Gelatin silver print

 

Ray Metzker. 'Pictus Interruptus (77FK28)' 1977

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Pictus Interruptus (77FK28)
1977
Gelatin silver print

 

Ray Metzker. 'Pictus Interruptus (77FW60)' 1977

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Pictus Interruptus (77FW60)
1977
Gelatin silver print

 

Ray Metzker. 'Pictus Interruptus (76EO4)' 1976

 

Ray K. Metzker (American, 1931-2014)
Pictus Interruptus (76EO4)
1976
Gelatin silver print

 

 

Laurence Miller Gallery is pleased to present Two of a Mind, photographs by Ray K. Metzker and Ruth Thorne-Thomsen, made between 1976 and 1991. Presently husband and wife, these two influential photographers independently created innovative and highly personal work that challenge our willingness to believe and stimulate our need to imagine.

Both achieved this by inserting images and objects into the view of the camera, turning reality on its head. Ray Metzker’s Pictus Interruptus series, made between 1976 and 1981, offers us inexplicable images – landscapes and cityscapes disrupted by abstract forms that combine, complement, and contrast with recognisable elements of the city or the land. Coat hangers, magazine images, folded paper and board were some of the items placed before the camera lens. Ruth Thorne-Thomsen’s Expeditions and Door series, as well as Prima Materia and Songs of the Sea, made between 1976 and 1991, also utilised the insertion of objects in front of her pin-hole camera, things like plastic and metal toys, children’s charms, ornaments and trinkets. The resulting images feel like poems come to life – credible enough to seem real, yet imaginary enough to seem like dreams.

Ray (born 1931) and Ruth (born 1943) met in Chicago in 1980, and immediately felt a kinship of spirit and mind. Each had been pursuing a personal photographic vision which took reality as a starting point and then explored the world of the imagination to challenge the general belief that what a photograph presents is truth. Metzker was more intrigued by the possibilities of form and space, while Thorne-Thomsen pursued the possibilities of mythology and dreams. For each artist, reality and artifice became intertwined and inseparable. This is the first exhibition in which their photographs are presented together. This showing of Metzker’s images also coincides with a major retrospective of his work at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, opening September 25th and continuing through February 24, 2013.

Text from the Laurence Miller Gallery website

 

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen. 'Echo Wisconsin' 1991

 

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen (American, b. 1943)
Echo Wisconsin
1991
From the series Songs of the Sea
Gelatin silver print

 

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen. 'Icarus Figure Wisconsin' 1993

 

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen (American, b. 1943)
Icarus Figure Wisconsin
1993
From the series Songs of the Sea
Gelatin silver print

 

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen. 'Paper Palms California' 1981

 

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen (American, b. 1943)
Paper Palms California
1981
From the Expeditions Series
Gelatin silver print

 

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen. 'Trio Wisconsin' 1991

 

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen (American, b. 1943)
Trio Wisconsin
1991
From the series Songs of the Sea
Gelatin silver print

 

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen. 'Levitating Man Wisconsin' 1983

 

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen (American, b. 1943)
Levitating Man Wisconsin
1983
From the Door Series
Gelatin silver print

 

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen. 'Chair Over Point Wisconsin' 1983

 

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen (American, b. 1943)
Chair Over Point Wisconsin
1983
From the Door Series
Gelatin silver print

 

 

Laurence Miller Gallery
9 East 8th Street
Box 119
NY NY 10003
Phone: (917) 930-9176

Opening hours:
By appointment

Laurence Millery Gallery website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Dogs, chickens, cattle’ 1994-95

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