Danny Lyon

One of America’s most important living photographers, Danny Lyon is represented here with an early period from his work: 1962-1972, when he went among motorcycle clubs, civil-rights marchers, and prison inmates before it was fashionable to do so. (Nor would he ever call it slumming.) Although not a Life-style photojournalist of the day, he practiced immersion reportage—riding for two years with the Harley enthusiasts, for instance, to produce his classic 1968 volume The Bikeriders. By getting his hands dirty, rebuilding his ’56 Triumph 650 among the grease-monkeys, he became an insider/outsider in their close-knit Chicago clan. His portraits are generally friendly, not condescending. These aren’t the freaks of Diane Arbus or the existential specimens of Robert Frank. He’s always sympathetic to these outcasts, even the death-row inmates in Texas who’ve been convicted for terrible crimes. A common thread to these portraits is their overlooked humanity—people who are ignored, sometimes despised, lacking any power or social standing. Yet Lyons treats them all the same. BRIAN MILLER

Tuesdays-Fridays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Starts: Nov. 19. Continues through Dec. 22, 2009

 
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