In all the years Steve Martin has been making movies, telling jokes, writing books and, more recently, playing the banjo, he’s also been admiring and collecting art, including paintings by Canadian modernist Lawren Harris. When UCLA’s Hammer Museum asked Martin to curate a traveling exhibition of Harris’s major works, he took the opportunity to raise Americans’ awareness of the artist’s abstract icebergs and serene Rocky Mountains. “The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris” is on view at the MFA from March 12 to June 12. 

WGBH Arts Editor Jared Bowen sat down with Martin to talk about the significance of art in his life and why he's promoting this particular artist. Here are highlights from their conversation. See more next week on Greater Boston and April 1 on Open Studio