“Prison” at Gage Gallery
Photos by Lloyd DeGrane reveal problems in Illinois’s prison system.
In a brief text on Gage Gallery’s wall, photographer Lloyd DeGrane attributes his series of prison photographs, taken from 1990 to 2000, to his curiosity about what lies behind jail walls. Shooting inside Cook County Jail and Stateville Prison, DeGrane shows that prisons are dull, packed with bodies and full of spaces that confine and, simultaneously, hide—concealing weapons, secrets and stewing rage. DeGrane doesn’t hit you over the head with a prison-reform agenda, but “Prison” makes it clear that even if fear of incarceration deters crime, these spaces do not create better men.