Brown Universitys David Winton Bell Gallery
is present an exhibition of more than 100 photographs and four films by Danny Lyon, an artist known for his emphasis on themes of empathy, freedom, history, destruction and narrative.
Part of a broader Brown Arts Initiative series titled On Protest, Art and Activism, the Lyon exhibition The Only Thing I Saw Worth Leaving is on view from Friday, Nov. 2, through Wednesday, Dec. 19.
We are delighted to present this important work from our collection that captures the volatility of the 1960s through Danny Lyons lens, said Jo-Ann Conklin, Bell Gallery director.
The exhibition features photographs from four of Lyons most significant series that are part of the Bell Gallerys collection: Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement, The Bikeriders, The Destruction of Lower Manhattan and Conversations with the Dead, all of which were created in the 1960s.
The films, on loan from the artist, include 1972s Llanito, which profiles people living in rural communities in New Mexico; 1974s El Mojado, following the plight of undocumented workers from Mexico; 1981s Dear Mark, a tribute to the artist Mark di Suvero; and 1982s Born to Film, featuring generations of Lyons family and friends.
Lyons oeuvre evokes many stories collective and individual explicitly detailing a particular reality in time and place and revealing chapters of American history, elements of identity and a diversity of human experiences, said Allison Pappas, a Brown graduate student who curated the exhibition. The narrative power of Lyons films and photographs helps to encourage empathy, define freedom, recount history and admonish destruction. As he said in 1967, I am left feeling the people I photograph are the best people in America. I leave to the future the only thing I saw worth leaving.
On Protest, Art and Activism
Lyons photographs eloquently amplify the Brown Arts Initiatives programming examining protest, art and activism on the anniversary of 1968, Conklin said.
In addition to being a time of upheaval in the Civil Rights Movement, 1968 was the year 65 black students enrolled at Brown marched down College Hill to Congdon Street Baptist Church and camped there for three days, pressing the University to significantly increase the number of black students in each entering class. The 1968 Walkout received national attention and catalyzed a move toward a deeper commitment on the part of the University to diversity as a cornerstone of academic excellence. It also led to the creation of the Universitys Rites and Reason Theatre and Department of Africana Studies.
On Protest, Art and Activism features artists who, like Lyon, engage political and social issues. Also opening on Nov. 2 is the second of two exhibitions in the series at the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts Cohen Gallery, featuring work by Hermine Freed, Guerrilla Girls, Suzanne Lacy, Howardena Pindell and Martha Rosler.
Through the series, the artwork New Nos, a poem by Paul Chan and Badlands Unlimited, will be on view in the lobby of the List Art Building from Nov. 2 to Dec. 19. A manifesto of resistance and a protest for solidarity, the poem was created in the wake of the 2016 election.