Danny Lyon "Murals and Montages" @ Edwynn Houk Gallery, NYCPhotography // Friday, 10 Jan 2014
Edwynn Houk Gallery is pleased to exhibit thirteen limited edition 30 x 40 inch enlargement prints by Danny Lyon. The exhibition highlights a cross-section of his celebrated career of the past fifty years and it is the first time his work is being presented in this mural size. The exhibition opened this past Thursday, January 9th and runs through Saturday, February 15, with a reception for the artist on Saturday, January 11th from 2 – 4 pm.
Danny Lyon is renowned for his documentary photographs depicting the outer fringes of society: the poor, the outsiders, the underdogs, the outlaws. Continuing in the photographic tradition of Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans, he embraced the medium’s historical concern with social justice and combined his passion for activism with an instinctual talent behind the camera. In the “New Journalism” style, he immersed himself in many of the communities he documented - the Civil Rights movement, motorcycle gangs in Chicago, prisoners in Texas and poor urban communities across the Americas. By earning his subjects’ trust and turning his empathetic lens on their lives, he has captured their humanity in unsentimental images imbued with dignity, respect and often a formal elegance.
Working closely with his printer of the last twenty years, Chuck Kelton, Lyon has produced a selection of gelatin silver enlargement prints made from his original 35mm and medium-format negatives. The exhibition includes iconic images from his series The Bikeriders for which he joined an outlaw motorcycle club in Chicago. The work resulted in his first one-person show at the Art Institute of Chicago and his seminal book The Bikeriders. Other works in the exhibition include a haunting landscape from his time documenting the Civil Rights Movement as a staff photographer of SNCC in the early 1960’s; a bleak scene of the massive demolition sites captured in his series the Destruction of Lower Manhattan from the late 1960’s; and a stark image of prisoners playing dominos taken from overhead, from his influential series Conversations with The Dead, which exposed the brutality of prison life in Texas in the late 1960’s. Later work includes images taken in Bushwick, New York and China, as well as montages of personal images and experiments with both color and digital technology.