Danny Lyon: Message to the Future

Solo en Inglès

Listen to commentary from scholars Elisabeth Sussman, Todd Gitlin, Julian Cox, and artist Danny Lyon on selected works in the exhibition Danny Lyon: Message to the Future.


Danny Lyon (b. 1942), Two Inmates, Goree Unit, Texas, 1968. Gelatin silver print. Collection of the artist. © Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

Narrator: Lyon took this photograph in the Goree Unit, a Texas prison that houses women.

Julian Cox: This picture he made of these two women seemingly in the refectory or the cafeteria conveys that sense of melancholy and sadness at being in this situation, where their daily lives and movements are controlled by others.

Working in the prison system was a very emotionally challenging experience for Lyon. He was also quite troubled by the paradox between his own freedom to come and go, and the restrictions under which these prisoners lived, but the empathy and the emotional connection that he felt for his subjects comes through very strongly in most of these prison pictures. They're very affecting on an emotional level because he is seeing and sensing and trying to record their emotional life in these pictures.