Helen Mayer & Newton Harrison HELEN MAYER HARRISON (1927–2018)

ARTFORUM Apr 07, 2018

HELEN MAYER AND NEWTON HARRISON, often referred to simply as “the Harrisons,” became known for their ecological systems art, which first emerged in the early ’70s. Helen is no more on this earth she loved, but we can imagine her serenity at contributing to its energies on another level. In her own words in a recent catalogue, she relates how her art career began: “I, Helen, began to invest myself in the earth that Newton had made.” But we are not obliged to take such a modest statement literally; we can leverage it by listening to the sharp wit and lively voice in scores of online interviews addressing the Harrison Studio’s complex research-based practice, or we can recall how, as early as 1962, she was the first New York coordinator for the Women’s Strike for Peace—which was simultaneous with her life-changing reading of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.

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