Danny Lyon


24 May - 11 August 2017

Route 12, Wisconsin, 1963

Arrest of Taylor Washington, Lebs Restaurant, Atlanta, 1963

Crossing the Ohio, Louisville, 1966

From Lindsey's Room, Louisville, 1966

Memorial Day Run, Milwaukee, 1966

Bob Dylan behind the SNCC office, Greenwood, Mississippi, 1963

Outlaw Camp, Elkhorn, Wisconsin, 1965-66

Benny, Grand and Divisions, Chicago, 1965

Press Release

Galerie Edwynn Houk Zurich is pleased to present works by the acclaimed photographer Danny Lyon (American, b. 1942). Featuring a selection from the two series Civil Rights and The Bikeriders, the exhibition will be on display from the 24th of May until the 29th of July 2017.

Danny Lyon is one of the most important American photographers of the last half century to renew the documentary photograph's concern with justice and the universal desire for freedom. Self-taught, and driven by twin passions for social change and the medium of photography, he was shaped by his early experiences covering the unrest of the 1960s as staff photographer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Being active in the Civil Rights movement as a participant and a photojournalist led to the publication of his first book, The Movement (1964) which heralded a new style of realistic photography, a “New Journalism”, in which the photographer is entirely immersed in the subject’s world. 

In 1968 Lyon published The Bikeriders, a seminal work of this modern style. The landmark collection of photographs and interviews documented the four-year period Lyon spent on the road with members of a motorcycle club known as the Chicago Outlaws, a group vilified for their efforts to live free of the conventional expectations of society. Photographed between 1963 and 1967, Lyon describes the work as "an attempt to record and glorify the life of the American bikerider”.


A champion of the marginalized, and continuing in the tradition of Walker Evans and Robert Frank, his work has always resisted the obvious. For over fifty years Lyon has recorded the realities of American life, each project accompanied by books, and often films, which have become classics in the field. The common thread to his output has always been a closeness with his subjects and a sense of candor and respect.

Danny Lyon lives in New Mexico and Maine. His work has been the subject of several major exhibitions at galleries including the Museum of Modern Art; Whitney Museum of American Art; Art Institute of Chicago; and Folkwang Museum in Essen, Germany. His work is also currently on display at the Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation in both filmmaking and photography. In 2011 he received the prestigious Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism and in 2015 the Lucie Award for Achievement in Documentary Photography