'Paul Ryan: The Halprin Workshops’ and 'Lawrence Halprin: Six Works'
Two exhibitions opening November 23 feature Lawrence Halprin, noted artist and pioneering landscape architect of The Sea Ranch
THE SEA RANCH, Calif. - November 8th, 2018 - Placewares Gallery, an art gallery exhibiting contemporary artists, designers and craftspeople, as well as works related to architecture and design, today announced the opening of two new exhibitions focused on the early years of The Sea Ranch, the celebrated designed community founded in 1965 on the Sonoma Coast. “Paul Ryan: The Halprin Workshops” and “Lawrence Halprin: Six Works” will open on November 23. The exhibitions are the result of a collaboration with Los Angeles-based gallery Edward Cella Art & Architecture.
Paul Ryan: The Halprin Workshops
In the late 1960s, avant-garde dance pioneer Anna Halprin and American landscape architect Lawrence Halprin organized a series of experimental, cross-disciplinary workshops in Northern California that brought dancers, artists, architects and environmental designers together.
They asked Ryan to photograph the event, and he agreed but only if he could be a participant as well – it seemed to him that to simply be an observer to such an intimate event would be difficult. These events came to be known as The Halprin Workshops and facilitated collaboration and group creativity through new approaches to environmental awareness.
Ryan came to prominence chronicling the 1960s social and cultural revolutions in San Francisco. Taken in 1966 and 1968 at The Sea Ranch and at the Halprin home in Kentfield (Marin County), Ryan’s in-depth photographic and film studies of the Halprin's reveal the multi-sensory activities of The Halprin Workshops. The photographs reveal how Anna and Lawrence Halprin consistently defied boundaries and pushed their mediums as tools to address social justice issues and connect people with one another and the environment.
Appearing in some of the photographs is Anna and Lawrence’s daughter Daria Halprin who starred in the 1970 legendary Michelangelo Antonioni film “Zabriskie Point.” The two-week long series of planned activities was an emotionally vulnerable experience for the participants who came from diverse backgrounds ranging from dance to urban planners; developing their trust in the recording of their activities reflects the extraordinary openness and sensitivity that Ryan brought to the proceedings.
Lawrence Halprin: Six Works
This exhibition features six works from Halprin, a leading figure in American landscape architecture, urban design and environmental planning during the second half of the 20th century. The six works are drawn from six different decades and include drawings and watercolors. The earliest work in the exhibition is from 1945 and the latest is from 2006. The work highlights Halprin’s range of styles and approaches to his craft. Lost for decades, these drawings were only found after his death in 2009. This is their first exhibition at The Sea Ranch, a place beloved to the Halprin’s and where Anna still resides part-time.
“The opportunity to present this work is very well-timed as it dovetails with SFMOMA’s upcoming show, The Sea Ranch: Architecture, Environment, and Idealism, which opens on December 22. We are happy to be in a position to augment the museum’s comprehensive survey of The Sea Ranch with works that speak to its unique spirit and impact,” said Kevin Lane, co-owner of Placewares. “These exhibitions represent our first foray into exploring the immense and richly varied heritage of art, design, dance, landscape, philosophy, and architecture at The Sea Ranch. This is a mission we will continue to pursue in the months ahead, beginning with Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, the artist responsible for the brand identity of The Sea Ranch and the inventor of supergraphics.
About Paul Ryan
Ryan’s photographs have been published in Newsweek, Architectural Digest, Contemporary Architecture and SKI Magazine. Photographic exhibits include Experiments in Environment: The Halprin Workshops, 1966-1971, Graham Foundation, Chicago, IL; Out on the Street, Magnum’s America in Crisis, Robert Riger’s Man in Sport, In the Blink of An Eye, Aerial Perspectives, Welcome to California, and several group exhibitions at Santa Monica Museum of Art. His theatrical feature cinematography credits include American Graffiti, A Box of Moonlight, Big Bad Love, Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven, Robert Redford’s A River Runs Through It, and The Horse Whisperer. Ryan studied photography with Ansel Adams, Minor White, and Eugene Smith. He studied aeronautical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and cinema at San Francisco State University.
About Lawrence Halprin
Lawrence Halprin (1916-2009) was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. After time spent in Israel and Cornell University, Halprin pursued a Master of Science in horticulture in 1941 at the University of Wisconsin. After his marriage to Anna Schuman, he entered the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1942. Halprin’s career as a landscape architect was delayed by two years as he, like many of his peers, enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II. In the spring of 1945, he returned to California and opened his own firm in San Francisco. By the mid-1960s, Lawrence Halprin and Associates gained recognition for their urban landscape redevelopment projects and continued to receive major commissions for another three decades. Halprin was awarded numerous honors such as the American Institute of Architects Medal for Allied Professions (1964), Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects ASLA Design Medal (2003), American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1978), the University of Virginia Thomas Jefferson Medal in Architecture (1979), and the National Medal of the Arts (2002), the nation’s highest honor for an artist. Halprin published several books including RSVP Cycles, Taking Part, Cities, Freeways, and Notebooks. The Graham Foundation organized Experiments in Environment: The Halprin Workshops, 1966-1971 from the holdings of the University of Pennsylvania’s Halprin Architectural Archives, which was recently exhibited at the California Historical Society in San Francisco.
About Placewares Gallery
Placewares Gallery is located one mile north of The Sea Ranch in Gualala, California alongside Placewares, a general store for good design. The gallery hosts an exciting mix of California artists, many of whom are held in the collections of modern art institutions around the world such as MOMA, LACMA, and Tate Modern. Placewares’ collaborative products with artist Jim Isermann are available at Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Hammer Museum, SFMOMA as well as at several design-minded retailers across the country.