New York

Danny Lyon, Juan Darias, Colombia, 1975, gelatin silver print, 5 5/8 × 4 1/4". © Danny Lyon.

Danny Lyon, Juan Darias, Colombia, 1975, gelatin silver print, 5 5/8 × 4 1/4". © Danny Lyon.

New York

“Danny Lyon: Message to the Future”

Whitney Museum of American Art
99 Gansevoort Street
June 17–September 25, 2016

Curated by Julian Cox and Elisabeth Sussman

The invitation to Danny Lyon’s unmissable retrospective at the Whitney this summer might read, concisely, “Welcome to Bleak Beauty,” as does the splash page of the artist’s website. Lyon is known primarily for his photographic books—rich photo-and-text essays like The Bikeriders (1967), Conversations with the Dead (1971), Indian Nations (2002)—and this exhibition includes generous selections from these and many other bodies of work spanning from 1963 to the present, as well as rarely seen films and objects from the artist’s archive. Indeed bleak, and beautiful, the work is also deeply engaged—not just activist, but active; you feel his presence and commitment to the lives and issues of the people he works with in his pictures’ every fiber. With the chance to see close to 175 photographs made over the course of fifty years, we’ll also be reminded of the simple, maddening questions Lyon’s work continues to prompt, as specified in his website’s “contents”: Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going? Travels to the de Young Museum, San Francisco, Nov. 5, 2016–Mar. 12, 2017.