Nathan Lyons, An Exploration of Photography as Visual Language — Bruno Chalifour

[Summer 2019]

Nathan Lyons, Untitled (Tucson), 2013, impression jet d’encre / inkjet print.

Nathan Lyons, Untitled (Tucson), 2013, impression jet d’encre / inkjet print.

By Bruno Chalifour

Some two years after Nathan Lyons’s death, on August 30, 2016, the George Eastman Museum (GEM) is presenting an overview of the life’s work of one of the central influencers of American photography in the second half of the twentieth century:1 a photographer exhibited in the most prestigious museums since 1960, a curator, an editor, an educator, an assistant director at the George Eastman House, a founder of the Visual Studies Workshop and its international magazine Afterimage, and an instigator and co-founder of the Society for Photographic Education – to list just a few of his many activities in and for photography. The idea for In Pursuit of Magic was germinated in 2013 and started as a collaboration between Lyons and the assistant curator at the GEM, Jamie Allen. The latter had to take over the project in 2016, with assistance from Lyons’s spouse, Joan, a celebrated printmaker and book artist, and the GEM’s chief curator, Lisa Hostetler. As a result, the exhibition in its final form oscillates between retrospective and first exhibition of Lyons’s foray into digital colour photography, between didactic homage and sometimes puzzling experimentation…

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1 Nathan Lyons: In Pursuit of Magic, George Eastman Museum (Rochester, NY), January 25–June 9, 2019.

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