Curator Steve Martin poses for a portrait in the exhibition "The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris" at The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, Oct. 7, 2015. Photo by Casey Curry/Invision/AP
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Lawren Harris is arguably Canada's most revered artist, one almost completely unknown in America. Steve Martin – the man who brought bluegrass music to mainstream audiences and introduced the banjo and balloon animals to comedy routines – wants U.S. audiences to admire Harris' works as much as he does. The artist's ability to strike a dichotomy between the abstract and the figurative was one of the things Martin said drew him to Harris' work. He'd discovered the artist years ago when he'd mistaken a Harris painting for one by prominent American landscape artist Rockwell Kent.Harris, who died in 1970, turned to abstract expressionism later in life, but this exhibition focuses strictly on his Canada-defining landscapes.After concluding the artist was someone U.S. arts patrons needed to know about, Philbin approached Martin about curating a show.
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