Lawrence Halprin: Alternative Scores - Drawing from Life


SEPTEMBER 9 – extended through NOVEMBER 4, 2017

Opening Reception
Saturday, September 9 | 6-8pm 

Scroll down for a list of special public programming 

(Los Angeles) Edward Cella Art & Architecture is proud to present Lawrence Halprin: Alternative Scores - Drawing from Life, the first exhibition of a collection of rarely-seen drawings by Lawrence Halprin (1916-2009), a leading figure in American landscape architecture, urban design, and environmental planning during the second-half of the twentieth century. The exhibition reveals Halprin’s almost daily practice of drawing as a means to not only record his diverse visual experiences, but also as a tool to engage with the trials and tribulations of war, the ecstasies of life, and the rawness and beauty in nature.  The exhibition includes archival video, photography, and ephemera which provide a historical context for Halprin’s life and work; and highlight the experimental Workshops and happenings that he developed in concert with his wife and influential dancer and choreographer, Anna Halprin.

 Lawrence Halprin: Alternative Scores - Drawing from Life is presented concurrently with the Los Angeles A+D Museum’s The Landscape Architecture of Lawrence Halprin. The traveling exhibition, organized by The Cultural Landscape Foundation, debuted in 2016 at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Halprin’s birth. Both exhibitions will be accompanied by special joint programming including tours, lectures and public events which notably highlight Halprin’s work and legacy in Southern California. See listings below.

The exhibition features the breadth of Halprin’s drawing over seven decades, and highlight his range of styles and approaches to the craft.  The earliest works reflect Halprin’s Modernist sensibility that developed at the Harvard Graduate School of Design where he studied with Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Walter Gropius, and Marcel Breuer, among others. Once graduated, he enlisted in WWII in 1943, and served in the South Pacific on the U.S.S. Morrison where he recorded the tropical landscapes he encountered for the first time and the immediate horrors of war though pen and ink.  Lost for decades, these drawings were only found after his death in 2009.

Upon discharge in 1946, Halprin arrived in San Francisco and was joined by Anna, where they would remain throughout his life.  Processing the post-traumatic stress of his service though drawing, his output began to converge with Anna’s performance-based practice; a visceral, inspirational platform which greatly informed his own work. Aside from his involvement with costume design and visual “scoring” of performative actions, the impulsivity and expressive physicality of Anna’s work becomes visually paralleled in the spontaneity and abstraction in Halprin’s drawings. The Halprins’ intimate personal and artistic partnership was the breeding ground for a lifetime of experimental performance workshops and communal living, which played a significant role in his ideas about landscape design and new graphic techniques to visually represent not only the physical landscape, but the experience of it.

The exhibition also includes drawings of Sea Ranch, a community on the Northern California coast that is one of Halprin’s most notable architectural achievements and heralds a sensitivity to protecting California’s unparalleled coastline. The dramatic rocks and crags of the coast and the relentless power and movement of nature are seemingly Halprin’s greatest sources of awe and inspiration. Lawrence Halprin: Alternative Scores - Drawing from Life offers his naturalist and botanical studies and powerful abstractions, always reflecting a deep engagement with life and an emotional inner-self.

With a resurgent interest in the work of Lawrence Halprin, ECAA is thrilled to present this extensive and singular collection of rare works on paper in the possession of the Halprin family.  The exhibition is accompanied by a full-color exhibition catalogue entitled, Personal Space: The Drawing Collection of Lawrence Halprin, with essays by Eva Friedberg, independent scholar of architecture history, urban studies and landscape theory, and an introduction by Charles A. Birnbaum, President and CEO of The Cultural Landscape Foundation.  Drawings from the Halprin Family Collection have been recently acquired by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and will be featured in a forthcoming exhibition at the museum, illustrating the legacy of Sea Ranch in the context of California Design.

Edward Cella Art & Architecture represents the Halprin Family Collection.


Presented concurrently with:

The Landscape Architecture of Lawrence Halprin 


Friday, October 20 | 7 - 10 pm

A+D Architecture and Design Museum
900 East 4th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Hours: Wed-Fri 2 – 8 pm; Saturday & Sunday 12 – 8 pm

Featuring fifty-six newly commissioned photographs by leading landscape photographers,
the exhibition offers an overview of the life and work of landscape architect Lawrence Halprin (1916-2009). Organized during the 2016 during the centennial anniversary of Halprin’s birth by The Cultural Landscape Foundation, the exhibition includes recently rediscovered residential projects created early in his career in the 1950s to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C., capstone projects such as Stern Grove in San Francisco and the Yosemite Falls approach, and significant postmodernist projects in the Los Angeles area including a sequence of public parks in DTLA including Grand Hope Park, the Bunker Hill Steps, Maguire Gardens and Plaza Las Fuentes in Pasadena. The exhibition both honors the influential designer and calls attention to the need for informed and effective stewardship of his irreplaceable legacy.

The exhibition is accompanied by a full-color gallery guide The Landscape Architecture of Lawrence Halprin that was written by Charles A. Birnbaum FASLA, FAAR, President and CEO, and Nord Wennerstrom, Director of Communications, and published by The Cultural Landscape Foundation. There is also a complimentary online exhibition with additional photography, recollections by clients and colleagues, and segments of a video oral history with Halprin available at

Organized and Curated by The Cultural Landscape Foundation



in association with The Cultural Landscape Foundation, The A+D Museum, The LA Conservancy and The California Historical Society

Visit for a comprehensive list of programs and additional information. 

An Observer: A Collaboration in the Spirit of Anna and Lawrence Halprin
Saturday, September 30, 3:00 pm

Edward Cella Art + Architecture
2754 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036

Los Angeles-based collaborative Lucky Dragons will create a site-specific performance which takes as its starting point Lawrence and Anna Halprin’s workshop-based approach to creative processes, first developed in the late 1960’s. Created in context with Lawrence Halprin: Alternative Scores – Drawing from Life, this new work explores how drawing, performance, notation, and evaluation give tangible form to the immaterial aspects of our environment, and help us to better communicate the patterns of lived experience.

Free and open to the public. The RSVP is now closed. 

Exhibition Talk and Tour of Lawrence Halprin: Alternative Scores - Drawing from Life
Saturday, October 21, 1:30 pm

Edward Cella Art + Architecture
2754 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036

Join Eva Friedberg, author and cultural historian; Daria Halprin, daughter, dancer, author and educator; and gallerist Edward Cella for a roundtable discussion of the first major survey of the drawings of Lawrence Halprin offering insights into his six-decade long fascination with drawing as a practice to not only record and engage with his environment but also his emotional inner-self. 
Free and open to the public. For reservations, please email or call 323.525.0053.
Sponsored by The California Historical Society.

Lawrence Halprin: Reconnecting the Heart of Los Angeles

Sunday, October 22, 1 to 2:30 pm
Sunday, November 5, 1 to 2:30 pm
Sunday, November 19, 1 to 2:30 pm
Sunday, December 17, 1 to 2:30 pm

Led by The Los Angeles Conservancy

Come experience famed landscape architect Lawrence Halprin’s plan to transform downtown Los Angeles through the use of open spaces. Explore how his iconic designs are connected, and learn about how these open urban spaces foster art, community, and a connection with nature.
Tour meets outside of Wells Fargo Court, 333 S. Grand Avenue. Look for “Night Sail,” a large black aluminum and steel sculpture, located right outside Wells Fargo Court. Parking is located below Wells Fargo Court or at various garages in the Bunker Hill area.
Cost is $15 and open to the public; $10 for members. For reservations, contact The Los Angeles Conservancy at or 213.623.2489.

Movement and Landscape: Celebrating the Halprin Legacy in Maguire Gardens, DTLA
Tuesday, October 24, 12:00 pm

Maguire Gardens at the Central Library
630 West 5th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013

A site-specific dance performance by Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre in collaboration with visual artist Kim West, inspired by Edouard Manet’s
Luncheon on the Grass. A trio of Duckler’s dancers take you on a journey through Maguire Garden’s pools, culminating in an audience-interactive ‘picnic’ on the grass. The union of movement and landscape celebrates the legacy of Lawrence and Anna Halprin. Free and open to the public.

Join us as a sponsor at Café Pinot for a special luncheon and VIP viewing area; tickets available for $250. For reservations, contact the A+D museum at or call 213.346.9734.

Landscape as Catalyst: Lawrence Halprin's Legacy and Los Angeles
Saturday, November 4, 9:30 am to 4:00 pm

A+D Architecture and Design Museum
900 East 4th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Join author and landscape historian Kenneth Helphand; architects Donlyn Lyndon, James A. Garland, and Buzz Yudell; landscape architect Doug Campbell; developer Robert F. Maguire; art consultant Merry Norris; and President and CEO of The Cultural Landscape Foundation Charles A. Birnbaum for a daylong conference sharing personal and professional insight on Halprin’s accomplishments, his legacy, and his impact on the renaissance of downtown Los Angeles.

Reservations are required. $95 participation fee includes the day’s proceedings, lunch, and a closing reception. For reservations and additional information, visit or call 202.483.0553.



Edward Cella Art & Architecture is committed to supporting and representing significant established, mid-career and emerging artists, architects, and designers. The gallery has an ongoing relationship with photography, painting, sculpture, architectural drawings, models, and design objects that critically represent ideas, archives, and collective materials. Building on his background as an architectural historian, with a decade of experience in art advisory and collection management, a passion for collecting architectural drawings and ephemera, and contemporary art and erotica, Edward Cella founded Edward Cella Art & Architecture in 2006. The gallery sustains a curatorial emphasis on discourses surrounding issues of cultural and conceptual significance and has represented historical and under-recognized estates and collections.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:  David De Boer   |   |   323.525.0053