(Los Angeles, CA) Edward Cella Art & Architecture is pleased to announce an Artsy online-exclusive exhibition featuring photographer Paul Ryan.
In the late 1960s, avant-garde dance pioneer Anna Halprin (b. Winnetka, 1920-) and American landscape architect Lawrence Halprin (b. Brooklyn, 1916-2009) 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, 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. Dismantling aesthetic hierarchies that traditionally separate creative fields, these early workshops reveal both the possibilities and challenges of working collectively across differences and re-imagining new frameworks for shaping the creative process.
Ryan came to prominence chronicling the 1960’s social and cultural revolutions in San Francisco, which also included a documentary on the local Hells Angels, the Monterey Jazz and Pop Festivals. Taken in 1966 and 1968 in San Francisco, Sea Ranch, and Kentfield, his in depth photographic and film studies of Anna and Lawrence Halprin reveal the multi-sensory activities like collective building projects and choreographed journeys that are synonymous with the Halprin Workshops. The photographs taken by Ryan reveal how Anna & 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 & Lawrence’s daughter Daria Halprin who appeared in the documentary Revolution and starred in the 1970 legendary cult-film Zabriskie Point. The two week-long series of planned activities was an emotionally vulnerable experience for the participants that came from diverse background 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.
This exhibition is being presented on the heels of much critical acclaim for both Anna Halprin whose exhibition Anna Halprin: Body Radical opens later this month at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. Other recent exhibitions on the Halprin Workshops include The Graham Foundation, Chicago, IL and California Historical Society, San Francisco, CA. In November, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago will include works by Anna & Lawrence Halprin in their exhibition West by Midwest. In December, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA) will open its long-awaited survey The Sea Ranch: Architecture, Environment, and Idealism, an exhibition devoted to exploring the concept and plans of this seminal Northern California Modern development and will include works by Halprin.
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.