Actor, comedian, musician, author, and now, curator — Steve Martin’s resume continues to grow.
Perhaps best known for his roles in “Father of the Bride,” “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles,” and on the set of “Saturday Night Live,” Steve Martin has been gracing our TV and movie screens for decades, bring laughter and the occasional tear to millions of people. Recently, Martin has been touring as a musician, reviving a lifelong talent but relatively unknown compared to his silver screen blockbusters.

Lawren Harris, “North Shore, Lake Superior,” 1926, oil on canvas, 40 1/4 x 50 in.
(c) Hammer Museum 2015

Now, Martin has added the role of curator to his resume. Working with veteran curators Cynthia Burlingham and Andrew Hunter, Martin has helped curate a show of pioneering Canadian modernist Lawren Harris (1885–1970) at The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, California. The exhibition, “The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris,” will feature over 30 major works from Harris’s most significant production, between the 1920s and early 1930s. The museum writes, “[Harris’s] scenes of a cold and empty northland, isolated peaks, and expanses of dark water beyond barren shorelines remain for many Canadians and non-Canadians the essential images of the country. Harris’s vision was distinctly modern and idealized; his landscapes offered a bold ‘idea of north.’ A founding member of the Group of Seven, Harris progressed from a defiantly nationalistic interpretation of the northern landscape towards a universal vision of nature’s spiritual power.” Martin himself suggested, “He’s Canada’s greatest artist and nobody in America knows who he is, with a few exceptions.”

Lawren Harris, “Mount Thule, Bylot Island,” 1930, oil on canvas, 32 1/4 x 40.25 in.
(c) Hammer Museum 2015


Martin has spent the last two years working on the exhibition with hopes of landing the show in New York. After the Metropolitan Museum of Art passed on the opportunity, the Hammer jumped at it, along with the Kennedy Center in Washington and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. In fact, Martin owns three paintings by Harris and is an avid collector of Modern painting.
The exhibition opens at the Hammer Museum on October 11 and will be on view through January 24.
To learn more, visit The Hammer Museum or The New York Times.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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