Harrisons' monograph joins recent flurry of publications on artists in SUL collections

September 15, 2016
Peter P Blank
Helen Newton Harrison

Today I received a copy of The Time of the Force Majeure: After 45 years, Counterforce is on the Horizon (Munich: Prestel, 2016), a major title on Helen and Newton Harrison, celebrated artists in what has become known as the Eco Art movement. With six critical essays this 464 page retrospective monograph covers their remarkable shared studio practice of forty-five plus years. SUL acquired the Helen & Newton Harrison papers in 2010. The appearance of the Harrisons’ monograph marks an extremely active publication period related to SUL’s more recent acquisitions of artists’ archives.

Lynn Hershman Leeson: Civic Radar (Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2016) was published in conjunction with an exhibition held at three venues over 2014-2016 where materials from the Lynn Hershman-Leeson papers were shown, the ZKM, Museum of Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe, the Deichtorhallen Hamburg/Falckenberg Collection, and the Lehmbruck Museum Duisburg. Two recent monographs draw on the Carolee Schneemann papers. The first is a major monographic treatment, Carolee Schneemann: Unforgiveable (London: Black Dog Pub., 2015), and the second, Carolee Schneemann: Kinetic Painting (Salzburg: Museum der Moderne; Munich: Prestel, 2015), presents an exhibition held at the Museum der Moderne, Salzburg (November 2015-February 2016) and publishes materials from the archive.

Sadly, but on a related artists' and collections' note, I report the recent passing of Nathan Lerner, an extremely important American photographer, curator, museum director, educator, founding member of the Society for Photographic Education, and founder in 1969 of the Visual Studies Workshop (Rochester, New York). SUL is fortunate of have recently acquired a considerable treasure trove of early Visual Studies Workshop materials, which includes approximately 125 titles published by the Visual Studies Workshop Press, an extensive collection of ephemera (103 pieces) related to the early years of the VSW, and over 150 original silver photographs, silkscreen prints, offset lithographic prints, xerographic prints, and photo-etchings from VSW students and faculty. These materials offer a glimpse into the early years of the VSW and will certainly provide the visual material necessary for research and publication on Lyons and the Workshop.