Home artnet Artsy
Crosscurrents of Inquiry
Photographs by Flor Garduño, Danny Lyon, and Alex Webb


Exhibition: Crosscurrents of Inquiry: Photographs by Flor Garduño, Danny Lyon, and Alex Webb

Location:  Etherton Gallery Downtown 135 S. Sixth Avenue
Dates:  March 22 – May 28th, 2005

Reception:  Saturday, March 26th, 7 - 10 p.m.
Hours:  11-5 Tuesday - Saturday,11-7 Thursday

Contents:  Crosscurrents of Inquiry: From Flor Garduño’s examination of the personal landscape to Danny Lyon’s testimony to the diversity of human feeling as witnessed on the social periphery, and Alex Webb’s current illumination of the precarious world of illegal border crossers, Crosscurrents of Inquiry is a photographic apologue of the world of humanity.

Flor Garduño: Sensual female nudes and exquisite still lifes form this collection of photographs by acclaimed Mexican photographer Flor Garduño. Garduño’s images from her monograph, Inner Light, are a diary of her personal, interior landscape. Taken in and around her homes in Mexico and Switzerland, her images –still lifes, nudes and portraits of her daughter Azul– are imbued with a suggestive, natural light that informs our daily lives, but is seldom reveled in except when stopped by the eye of a visual poet.

Garduño’s work is a mixture of cultural landscape, poetic lyricism, and the psychological presence of portraiture. As she documents the reality that surrounds her she also loads her images with historical description, mythology and symbol laying claim to the culturally significant and allowing the cards of symbology to fall in a reading as they may. Whether lending themselves to a reading in “applied symbology,” as in her use of the flower as an aesthetic device, or revealing the subjects of her imagery in its most significant aspect, “the minute of the smile, the mask, the pose,” her moving portraits resonate with the symbolic and the imaginary as well as sensuous materiality.

Flor Garduño was born in Mexico City in 1957. She has published numerous books, including the acclaimed Witnesses of Time and Inner Light. Garduño began her career as an assistant of Manuel Alvarez Bravo. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.

Danny Lyon: Self-taught in photography, Danny Lyon studied history at the University of Chicago, where he received a BA in 1963. That same year he joined the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee as a photographer documenting the American civil rights movement. He went on to become a Magnum photographer and later established his own publishing company, Bleak Beauty. In his long career he has gained recognition as an activist, photographer, filmmaker, and writer. He has received recognition from the Guggenheim Foundation, which awarded him a fellowship in photography in 1969 and another, in film, a decade later. Lyon has also had one-person exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, NY, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona.

Witness, protagonist, and pioneer, Danny Lyon’s photographic and filmmaking journeys encompass the civil rights movement in the South, a Chicago motorcycle gang, Texas prisons, New York subways, Colombian street urchins and brothels, Native American Reservations, and closer to home, his familial montage work. Whether in his photographs of migrants, the homeless, the insane, or in his portraits of prisoners, bikers, and transvestites, Lyon’s work searches out the world of humanity. His picture of America is a testimony to the diversity of human feeling as witnessed on the social periphery, those specific aspects of society deemed as “the other.” With the articulation of personal relations that Lyon discovers in these communities of “peasants and prostitutes, aliens and agnostics,” he creates a discourse on the possibilities for that small space of freedom that may reside outside institutionalized control and power. Danny Lyon currently resides in upstate New York; his most recent work focuses on life in Cuba and New Mexico.

Alex Webb: Masterful photographer/photojournalist Alex Webb creates vivid and compelling images that unite the familiar and the strange. Often ironic and impressionistic records of life’s passages through streets, markets and harbors Webb’s photographs question our assumptions about regions ranging from Florida to Mexico, the waterways of the Amazon, the Caribbean Islands, Africa, and Asia. The world’s tropics in all their sensuous color, exuberance, desperate poverty, and incipient violence are captured in a brilliant combination of the new aesthetics of color photography and the great modern tradition of photojournalism.

Webb’s current photographs illuminate an atmosphere transience and crossing -the precarious world of illegal border crossers: tedious waits along the fence, late –night bridge traversals, clandestine travels, detainments and arrests. Having chronicled the region between the United States and the Mexico border (a ribbon of land some two thousand miles long and ten miles wide) for more than twenty-five years he has captured a compelling vision of “the humor and pathos, paradox and tragedy of life” along the borderline.

Alex Webb’s latest work can be seen in his newly published book, Crossings which includes an essay by Tom Miller, who has been writing about the American Southwest and Latin America for more than three decades. A member of Magnum Photos since 1979, Webb has received numerous awards and grants, and has had his work exhibited in museums worldwide. His photographs have been published in the New York Times Magazine, Life, Geo, National Geographic, Aperture, and many other magazines.