Danny Lyon Opening
Edwynn Houk Gallery
Saturday January 11th, 2014
A Note from Adam…
This Saturday Edwynn Houk will be hosting a reception for photographer Danny Lyon at their Fifth Avenue location, 745 5th Ave to be exact. I’m looking forward to going because it’s always nice to catch up with Danny. He and I met two years ago through Phaidon Press for the release of his book “Deep Sea Diver” which I discussed here. Originally I was scheduled to interview him at the Phaidon offices. At the last minute he called and asked if we could skip the office and go to a park down on Mulberry Street, a few blocks from a loft he used to live in on the Bowery. What started out as a thirty minute interview turned into an afternoon discussion of the the history of downtown Manhattan, the pub where Abraham Lincoln went for beers, and Walt Whitman’s Civil War journals. As it turned out, we had both contributed features on architecture to the New York Times about our gripes with architects, except that Danny spent most of his time building in the South West and I built in the city. The afternoon ended four hours later at Anthology Films where Danny was screening a newly restored version of his film on sculptor Mark DiSuvero. It was an unexpected delight and Danny never ceases to surprise me every time we meet. Join me this Saturday for the reception. Please find the gallery’s release and details below.
See you there
PS If you would like to read my other articles on Danny Lyon you can find them here:
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 opens 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 embued 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.
Danny Lyon is a self-taught photographer, writer and filmmaker, who grew up in Queens, New York. He has published numerous books, including The Bikeriders and Conversations with the Dead. His forthcoming book The Seventh Dog will be published by Phaidon this spring. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation in both filmmaking and photography. He has had solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Menil Collection and the de Young Museum in San Francisco, among others. He lives and works in New York and New Mexico.