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Danny Lyon Selected Works

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Cirrus 1978

Danny Lyon Selected Works

October 24 - November 25, 1978

Cirrus 1978

Danny Lyon Selected Works ~ October 24 - November 25, 1978 Danny Lyon was born in New York in 1942 and attended the University of Chicago. After college, he turned his camera toward the parts of society that are often ignored; the disenfranchised, the down-trodden, those who fall through the cracks of society. An explorer himself, Lyon has a chameleon-like ability to bring the camera along on his journey through America to record the experience his eye sees, the locations often missed or forgotten – the images of life passed by. In late 1967, Lyon was given free pass to enter the Texas State Penitentiary – day and night – where he was able to move among the prisoners as they functioned in groups, in working parties and their existence in isolation. He photographed their living quarters, the cotton fields, while eating, bathing, recreation, daydreaming and passing time. He befriended them. He recorded their personal testimonies, their lives, and reviewed the official documents which condemn them to a sort of living death. Through the course of his unprecedented access that lasted just over a year, he befriended several prisoners, some of whom were there for a short couple of years and others who would never know another life beyond their current setting

behind barbed-wire and concrete block. Lyon’s photographs mark a well documented monument to the human spirit; surviving what must be the wretchedness of despair from the failings of personal tragedy. Lyon’s photographs beg for a compassionate consciousness which confounds the viewer to recognize the justice that brands the prisoner as criminal. These portraits shatter the notion of oppression and futility one must feel as one recognizes the plea to American society who are the ultimate warden of our prisons. “This project from the very beginning, was an effort to somehow emotionally convey the spirit of imprisonment shared by 250,000 men in the United States. The resulting work is not meant to be seen as a study of the Texas Department of Corrections, but analogous to any of the fifty-one American prison systems.” Danny Lyon, 1967 Danny Lyon was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1969, and earlier this year, a second. Additionally, he received the National Film Institute Award.

Approaching the Texas State Penitentiary, 1967

Schizophrenic, The Wynne Unit, 1968

Main Entrance, The Walls, 1967

Cell of two Chicano convicts, 1967

The Block, 1967

Wynne Unit, 1967

The Hoe Line, 1968

The Line, 1968

Hoe Squad, Rain, 1968

Heat Exhaustion, 1968

Age 18, six years, theft; three years, burglary; four years, forgery, 1968

Young Boss, 1968

The Boss, 1968

Two Years, 1968

Weight Lifters, 1968

Cell Block Table, 1968

Bikeriders, The Outlaws; DC Eagles, 1966

Bikeriders, Route 12, Wisconsin, 1965

Crossing the Ohio River, 1966

LOS ANGELES TIMES, Friday review, Calendar Section, Oct. 1978

Copyright Cirrus Editions ltd. © 2016

Cirrus 1978

cirrus editions ltd Š 2016

Danny Lyon: Selected Works 1978  

Catalog for Danny Lyon's 1978 exhibition at Cirrus Gallery.

Danny Lyon: Selected Works 1978  

Catalog for Danny Lyon's 1978 exhibition at Cirrus Gallery.