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How Big is Here? A Conversation with Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison
by Jane Ingram Allen

Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison were invited to Taiwan earlier this year by the Council for Cultural Affairs. They gave lectures, toured sites, and held discussions with artists, environmentalists, scientists, government officials, and students and participated in a group exhibition at Taipei Artists Village. A collaborative husband and wife team, the Harrisons have been making art dedicated to improving the environment since the late ’60s. Their works are in the collections of such institutions as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Tel Aviv Museum; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels. Their installation-based works usually feature components such as maps, charts, and explanatory texts, but they can also include sculptural elements such as the roof gardens of Endangered Meadows of Europe. Helen was trained as an educator and psychologist, and Newton as a painter and sculptor, and both were professors in the visual arts department at the University of California, San Diego for many years. Most of their projects, which span continents and genres, have been in Europe and the U.S., but they have also worked in Israel, Australia, and Asia. Their work is included in “Weather Report: Art & Climate Change” at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art through December 21.

Endangered Meadows of Europe, 1996.

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