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Danny Lyon Retrospective Features Rare Vintage Prints

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“Tesca, Cartagena, Colombia,” 1966. Cibachrome, printed 2008. (Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York)
‘Tesca, Cartagena, Colombia,’ 1966. Cibachrome, printed 2008. (Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York)

 

Over the last half century, American photographer Danny Lyon has presented a charged alternative to the sanitized vision of American life presented in the mass media. Lyon has rejected the standard detached humanism of the traditional documentary approach in favor of a more immersive one with his subjects. The photographer has not only been able to document history, but also help shape it with his iconic work.

“John Lennon and Danny Seymour, The Bowery, New York,” 1969 Gelatin silver print, printed later. (Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York)
“John Lennon and Danny Seymour, The Bowery, New York,” 1969 Gelatin silver print, printed later. (Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York)

 

In recognition of this, the Whitney Museum of American Art is hosting the first major retrospective of the photographer’s work in 25 years in an exhibition entitled, Danny Lyon: Message to the Future. The exhibit includes 175 photographs, offering a rare look into Lyon’s archive, which features vintage prints; unseen 16 mm film footage from inside Texas prisons; and his personal photo albums. This is the first time a museum has curated his works as a filmmaker, too.

A leading figure in the street photography movement of the ’60s, Lyon’s first major project—while he was still a student—was documenting the Civil Rights Movement. From there, Lyon continued to cover social issues, documenting biker subcultures, prisoners, and the changing landscape of Lower Manhattan. Danny Lyon: Message to the Future is on display at the Whitney until September 25. After that, it will make its West Coast debut at the de Young Museum in San Francisco on November 5, 2016. For more information on the exhibition, click here. View a sampling of it below.

“Maricopa County, Arizona,” 1977. Vintage gelatin silver print. (Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York)
‘Maricopa County, Arizona,’ 1977. Vintage gelatin silver print. (Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York)
“Crossing the Ohio River, Louisville,” 1966. Vintage gelatin silver print. (Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York)
‘Crossing the Ohio River, Louisville,’ 1966. Vintage gelatin silver print. (Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York)
“Shakedown at Ellis Unit, Texas,” 1968. Vintage gelatin silver print. (Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York)
‘Shakedown at Ellis Unit, Texas,’ 1968. Vintage gelatin silver print. (Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York)
“Weight lifters, Ramsey Unit, Texas,” 1968. Vintage gelatin silver print. (Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York)
‘Weight lifters, Ramsey Unit, Texas,’ 1968. Vintage gelatin silver print. (Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York)
“Haiti,” 1987. Gelatin silver prints montage. (Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York)
‘Haiti,’ 1987. Gelatin silver prints montage. (Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York)
“Occupy Demonstration on Broadway, Los Angeles,” 2011. Digital inkjet print. (Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York)
‘Occupy Demonstration on Broadway, Los Angeles,’ 2011. Digital inkjet print. (Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York)
(Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York)
(Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York)
“Bill Sanders, Tattoo Artist, Houston, Texas,” 1968. Vintage gelatin silver print.(Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York)
‘Bill Sanders, Tattoo Artist, Houston, Texas,’ 1968. Vintage gelatin silver print.(Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York)
“Self-portrait, Chicago,” 1965. Gelatin silver prints montage. (Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York)
‘Self-portrait, Chicago,’ 1965. Gelatin silver prints montage. (Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York)