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Paul Ryan: The Halprin Workshops

Lawrence Halprin: Six Works

The opportunity to simultaneously present these two bodies of work with SFMOMA’s upcoming Architecture & Design exhibit, The Sea Ranch: Architecture, Environment, and Idealismthat opens on December 22, 2018 provides the viewer an intimate snapshot of time and place in a period where The Sea Ranch's idealism and creative spirit were in full bloom. Placewares Gallery is happy to augment SFMOMA's comprehensive survey of The Sea Ranch with works that speak to the community's unique spirit and far-reaching impact on creativity.

The simultaneous two shows represent the gallery's first foray into exploring the immense and richly varied heritage of art, design, dance, landscape, philosophy, and architecture at The Sea Ranch.

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 photographer Paul 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.

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