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Exhibition Opening: Experiments in Environment: The Halprin Workshops, 1966-71

January 21, 2016 @ 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM


Join the California Historical Society, Anna Halprin, the Graham Foundation, and others in celebrating the West Coast premiere of Experiments in Environment: The Halprin Workshops, 1966-1971. This free opening reception is part of Third Thursdays in Yerba Buena, a monthly celebration of art in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Neighborhood.

About Experiments in Environment:

In the summer of 1966, renowned American landscape architect Lawrence Halprin (1916–2009) and his wife, dance pioneer Anna Halprin (born 1920), began a series of experimental, cross-disciplinary workshops in northern California that offered a new approach to environmental awareness. Drawn from architecture, ecology, music, cinematography, graphics, choreography, and lighting, Experiments in Environment brought together artists, dancers, architects, and environmental designers in avant-garde environmental arts experiences.

From June 27 to July 22 that summer, they engaged multi-sensory activities in alternating environments according to loosely structured, written guidelines—from movement sessions, to blindfolded awareness walks, to collective building projects, to choreographed journeys in urban plazas, parks, and rail cars. As an article inProgressive Architecture magazine described, “They built their own ‘city’ on the shore of the ocean and recreated the impact and atmosphere of a metropolis in a multimedia presentation. Dancers became architects and architects became dancers.” The series continued in 1968 and 1971.

Experiments in Environment: The Halprin Workshops, 1966–1971 presents to the West Coast public for the first time original photographs, films, drawings, scores, and other archival documentation of the workshops, which were staged in the streets of San Francisco, on the shores and cliffs of Sea Ranch (a coastal community designed by Lawrence), and on the slopes of Mount Tamalpais. In an observation reflective of Sixties culture, Anna Halprin said, “I want art and structures which express individual creativity and collective living. I want all the personal responses of my company members to be evident in themselves and also to unite into a communal experience.”

Organized by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Chicago.


January 21, 2016
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
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California Historical Society
678 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105 United States
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