16 Feb - 16 June 2019
work in collection
The work of Richard Long (Bristol, 1945) evokes a great sense of freedom. The idea that art can be made by mere walking literally opens new horizons. Since the late 1960s Long has been exploring concepts such as time, distance and geography by intervening in the landscape. His works of art fluctuate between two extremes, the visible and the invisible, ranging from a monumental circle in barren surroundings to a rockthat he picks up and then leaves behind somewhere else.
The artist draws inspiration from all that nature offers him: from its rhythms, such as ebb and flow, to stones that he encounters along the way. Although a work can extend across a vast area, Long departs from a human scale. This distinguishes him from American land artists who, during the 1960s and 70s, used bulldozers to create imposing artworks in the outdoors. In Long's work nature is not conquered, but treated intuitively as a kind of friend.
His art is ephemeral. It can be comprised of nothing more than a construction of branches or a path of footsteps in the grass. Then it is just a matter of waiting until the ravages of time erase these interventions. Maps, photographs and text images are all that remain. These, he says, are by definition 'second-hand'.
Long does not consider himself a conceptual artist; he does, after all, use real stones and takes actual walks. His ideas are therefore always inseparable from their execution. What we see in the exhibition is the result of a living being's contact with his surroundings.