View Full Version : Nathan Lyons--Passing---A Champion of Photography As An Art

Raymond Bleesz
2-Sep-2016, 18:27
A master photographer, educator, curator et al has passed who believed in using diptychs in his personal work.


I was starting out in my photo career more or less when I took a university phot workshop at CU in 1987/88. Lyons, a light at the end of the tunnel regarding photography, IMO, had several theories regarding photography, one of which is "Thesis, Synthesis, AntiThesis"--outlined here on the university blackboard, the basis of his theory. This image was taken with a camera he himself used & was familiar with, a Leica 111F, a camera I possessed & was exposed to in 1958 at the age of 14 when my parents purchased it in Germany. I still have it, and use it on occasion as I did taking this portrait of Lyons and making a diptych. Ironically, just days ago, I submitted this image to a juried show in Ft. Collins, a show entitled "Portraits".

Raymond A. Bleesz
Edwards, Colo154545

Kirk Gittings
3-Sep-2016, 11:00
A giant force in photographic academia.

Raymond Bleesz
3-Sep-2016, 17:38
Kirk, thanks for the addition. I am somewhat surprised not more forum folks have not added their bit about Lyons since he was such a magnet force in academic and a dynamic element in the world of fine art photography & yes, a giant force.

One of these days, I get down to Albuquerque.


Kirk Gittings
3-Sep-2016, 19:44
Yes come on down!
I started my photo career when I stumbled into a beginning photo class at UNM in my sophomore year in 1969. I had no idea what an art explosion I had walked into-Beaumont Newhall, Van Deren Coke, Betty Hahn, Ray K. Metzger, Rod Lazorik, Ann Noggle, Leland Rice, Joel Peter Witkin, James Kraft, Bill Jay, Tom Cooper, James Alinder. The list goes on. An amazing place to be.

Merg Ross
3-Sep-2016, 21:04
Sorry to hear. Condolences to his family.

I participated in a few group shows with Nathan in the early 1960's --- Photography '63 at Eastman House, which he curated, and PFA IV at the NYC World's Fair in 1964 come to mind.

It was a special time in American photography, and Nathan played an important role.

Raymond, thanks for posting.


Raymond Bleesz
4-Sep-2016, 06:15
Kirk,--You were so fortunate to become involved at that time----Jay, Daren Coke, Newhall, Alinder, Metzler-----and Merg, you likewise apparently were involved at the very early stages of photography as a art movement in American with your contact with Lyons--Eastman House et al.

I was familiar with all those who you named Kirk, however, I had no personal contact with anyone other than with Jay. I was under my own directed "tutorial/sabbatical study of photography" at that time. My life back in the late 70's, early 80's was in a state of flux, ('67 BS History--Post Grad Work--'68 & '70, USU--a period of teaching high school history in Georgetown, the Silver Queen of The West) My closest photo mentor was Hal Gould in Denver, and I did approach ASU & Jay with Klett being one of his disciples . I made preliminary attempts at getting into ASU, however, they did not materialize----But Jay was special----his thinking, his writings et al. I made a special trip down to ASU to meet him, and I took this informal portrait of him in his office at ASU at the time I was making moves towards admission to ASU (1986)--the ASU art dept head did not think much of my admission, hence I never got there. (Jay also introduced me to to the Brit, David Hurn.)