Helen and Newton Harrison: California Work
Husband and wife Newton and Helen Harrison were among the earliest and most notable ecological artists. This is the first exhibition to focus on their California work, nearly 20 projects produced between the late 1960s and 2000s. Responding to growing environmental awareness, the Harrisons pushed conceptual art in new directions, from their efforts to make topsoil—endangered in many places—to their transformation of a Pasadena debris basin into a recreational area. The couple agreed that they would only take on projects that benefited the ecosystem. Helen and Newton Harrison: California Work revisits the Harrisons’ groundbreaking ecological concepts through re-staged performance artworks, drawings, paintings, photography, collages, maps, archival documentation of large-scale installations, and unrealized proposals for real-world ecological solutions. The Lagoon Cycle—a complex 360° photo mural in 60 parts—on display for the first time since it was acquired by the Centre Georges Pompidou in 1997.
La Jolla Historical Society with additional venues at California Center for the Arts Escondido, San Diego Public Library Gallery, and the Mandeville Art Gallery at UC San Diego.
Artwork credit: Tibet is the High Ground: Thinking About The Greening of Tibet, 1991-2014, Newton & Helen Mayer Harrison. Courtesy of the Harrison Family Trust.