Richard Long (artist)
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Richard Long CBE (born 2 June 1945) is an English sculptor, photographer and painter, one of the best known British land artists. Long is the only artist to be shortlisted for the Turner Prize four times, and he is reputed to have refused the prize in 1984. He was nominated in 1984, 1987, 1988 and he then won the award in 1989 for White Water Line. He currently lives and works in Bristol.
Early life and education 
Born in Bristol, England; Long studied at the University of the West of England's College of Art during the years of 1962-5, then to St Martin’s School of Art and Design, London during 1966-68. At St Martin's, he studied under Anthony Caro and Phillip King, and he became closely associated with fellow student Hamish Fulton. Within a year after he graduated from St Martin’s, the artist became closely associated with the emergence of Land Art; he also participated in the first international manifestations of both Arte Povera, in Amalfi, Italy in 1968, and Earth Art, at Cornell University, New York in 1969.
Long made his international reputation during the 1970s, but already with sculptures made as the result of epic walks, these take him through rural and remote areas in Britain, or as far afield as the plains of Canada, Mongolia and Bolivia. He walks at different times for different reasons. At times, these are predetermined courses and concepts; yet equally, the idea of the walk may assert itself in an arbitrary circumstance. Guided by a great respect for nature and by the formal structure of basic shapes, Long never makes significant alterations to the landscapes he passes through. Instead he marks the ground or adjusts the natural features of a place by up-ending stones for example, or making simple traces. He usually works in the landscape but sometimes uses natural materials in the gallery. Different modes of presentation, sometimes combined, were used to bring his experience of nature back into the museum or gallery. From 1981, Long also alluded to the terms of painting by applying mud in a very liquid state by hand to a wall in similar configurations, establishing a dialogue between the primal gesture of the hand-print and the formal elegance of its display. He stressed that the meaning of his work lay in the visibility of his actions rather than in the representation of a particular landscape. Nearly forty years on, his work continues the dialectic between working freely and ephemerally wherever in the wide world, and bringing it back into the public domain of art spaces and books in the form of sculptures of raw materials such as stones, mud and water and photographic and text works. In 2012 the artist was on view at the exhibition "Ends of the Earth: Land Art bis 1974" with the conceptual and rarely shown work entitled A Walking Line in the Berner Oberland.
A Line Made by Walking (1967) 
Richard Long, then 22 years old and a student at Saint Martin's School of Art in London, walked back and forth along a straight line in the grass in the English countryside, leaving a track that he then photographed in black and white. The work, taken as the milestone in contemporary art, balances on the fine line between the performance (action) and the sculpture (object).
Nature has always been a subject of art, from the first cave paintings to twentieth-century landscape photography. I wanted to use the landscape as an artist in new ways. First I started making work outside using natural materials like grass and water, and this led to the idea of making a sculpture by walking. This was a straight line in a grass field, which was also my own path, going ‘nowhere’. In the subsequent early map works, recording very simple but precise walks on Exmoor and Dartmoor, my intention was to make a new art which was also a new way of walking: walking as art. Each walk followed my own unique, formal route, for an original reason, which was different from other categories of walking, like travelling. Each walk, though not by definition conceptual, realised a particular idea. Thus walking – as art – provided a simple way for me to explore relationships between time, distance, geography and measurement. These walks are recorded in my work in the most appropriate way for each different idea: a photograph, a map, or a text work. All these forms feed the imagination.—Richard Long
The consistent employment of archetypal shapes, mostly circle, line, cross and spiral, is immediately noticeable in the artist's body of work. Much as the appearance could evoke ancient monumental connotation, the force of Long's oeuvre lies in its conceptual simplicity. The work is just as it is staged. Nonetheless, Long does not withdraw himself from believing his actions of connecting simple geometric structures such as circles with organic elements, may reach across cultural and generational boundaries:
"I think circles have belonged in some way or other to all people at all times. They are universal and timeless, like the image of a human hand. For me, that is part of their emotional power, although there is nothing symbolic or mystical in my work." —Richard Long
Stone, driftwood and mud 
Long works with indigenous materials, such as stone, wood and mud, collected from his numerous walks around the world. Stone is one of the earliest material used by man to fashion tools; and one of his preferred materials. Delabole Slate Circle, a solid circle made on the floor with slate from the Delabole quarry in Cornwall, was constructed by slate roughly cut to retain as much of its natural character as possible. The circular arrangement is an imposed order, but the flatness of each piece is characteristic of slate, representing a natural order. River Avon Driftwood (1976) seemed to hold chance and order in equal sway, as in much of Long's work. It is made up of bits of driftwood which he gathered from the banks of the River Avon below Leigh Woods, near the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol. These are used randomly, and spaced approximately but within the precise form of an anti-clockwise spiral. Objects which arrived at a given point by chance, through the flow of the river, are organized into a logical, and ancient, pattern.
From 1981 he also alluded to the terms of painting by applying mud in a very liquid state by hand to a wall in similar configurations. Long applies the mud with his hands — throwing it, drawing with his fingers or using the imprint of his palms. While he may allow people to watch him place stones, he paints in private. The mud circles, the most impermanent parts of his shows -when the exhibitions are over, the circles are painted over — hold everything together. Mud has represented the ground he stepped through his walks and the realization of these "murals" establishes a dialogue between the primal gesture of the hand-print and the formal elegance of its display. He stressed that the meaning of his work lay in the visibility of his actions rather than in the representation of a particular landscape.
Bringing together the unevenly shaped raw materials in the geometric structure, Long's works illustrate a recurrent theme, the relationship between man and nature, as he has explained, "You could say that my work is a balance between the patterns of nature and the formalism of human, abstract ideas like lines and circles. It is where my human characteristics meet the natural forces and patterns of the world, and that is really the kind of subject of my work."
Nature vs. gallery 
Long usually works in the landscape but sometimes uses natural materials in the gallery. The scale of his sculptures is determined by his response to each particular place or landscape locality. In 2000, for the first time, he also presented discrete, modest-sized works that hang on the wall like paintings. They are portable and permanent, a deviation from his typical practice of enacting temporary installations on site.
The outdoor and indoor works are complementary, although I would have to say that nature, the landscape, the walking, is at the heart of my work and informs the indoor works. But the art world is usually received 'indoors' and I do have a desire to present real work in public time and space, as opposed to photos, maps and texts, which are by definition 'second hand' works. A sculpture feeds the senses at a place, whereas a photograph or text work (from another place) feeds the imagination. For me, these different forms of my work represent freedom and richness – it's not possible to say 'everything' in one way.
I like the fact that every stone is different, one from another, in the same way all fingerprints, or snowflakes (or places) are unique, so no two circles can be alike. In the landscape works, the stones are of the place and remain there. With an indoor sculpture there is a different working rationale. The work is usually first made to fit its first venue in terms of scale, but it is not site-specific; the work is autonomous in that it can be re-made in another space and place. When this happens, there is a specific written procedure to follow. The selection of the stones is usually random; also individual stones will be in different places within the work each time. Nevertheless, it is the 'same' work whenever it is re-made.—Richard Long
At Houghton Hall in Norfolk, the Marquess of Cholmondeley commissioned a folly to the east of the house. Long's land art consists of a circle of Cornish slate at the end of a path mown through the grass.
A permanent installation is on view in the main lobby of Hearst Tower (New York City) entitled Riverlines. Completed during the summer of 2006 and the biggest wall work he had ever made - about 35 x 50 feet (11 x 15 meters).
Solo exhibitions 
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- 2009 Richard Long: Heaven and Earth, Tate Gallery, UK
- 2009 Richard Long Exhibition no 277, Haunch of Venison, Berlin, Germany
- 2008 Richard Long, Galleria Lorcan O'Neil, Rome, Italy
- 2008 Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain, Nice, France
- 2007 Richard Long: Not Vital, Galerie Tschudi, Zuoz, Switzerland
- 2007 Richard Long: Walking and Marking, National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh
- 2006 Richard Long, Lismore Castle, Lismore, Ireland
- 2006 Richard Long: The Path is the Place is the Line, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
- 2005 Galleria Lorcan O'Neill, Rome, Italy
- 2004 Richard Long: The Human Touch - O toque humano, Galeria Mário Sequeira, Braga
- 2004 Kukje Gallery, Seoul, Korea
- 2003 Galleria Lorcan O'Neill, Rome, Italy
- 2003 Richard Long: Here and Now and Then, Haunch of Venison, London, UK
- 2002 A Moving World, Tate St. Ives
- 2002 James Cohan Gallery, New York
- 2001 On Site: Richard Long, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, MI
- 2000 Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, UK
- 2000 Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain
- 2000 James Cohan Gallery, New York, NY
- 2000 Public Art Fund, New York Projects, New York, NY
- 2000 Griffin Contemporary, Los Angeles
- 1999 Kunstverein Hannover, Hannover, Germany
- 1999 Bernier/Eliades, Athens, Greede
- 1998 Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Bretton Hall, Yorkshire, Wakefield, UK
- 1997 Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK
- 1997 Benesse Museum of Contemporary Art, Naoshima, Japan
- 1997 Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, Bristol, UK
- 1996 The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan
- 1996 Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas
- 1995 Sala de Exposiciones de la Diputacion de Huesca, Spain
- 1995 Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, UK
- 1995 Konrad Fischer, Düsseldorf, Germany
- 1994 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany
- 1994 Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
- 1994 São Paulo Biennale, São Paulo, Brazil
- 1994 Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia
- 1994 ARC, Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France
- 1992 Jean Bernier Gallery, Athens, Greece
- 1992 Konrad Fischer Gallery, Düsseldorf, Germany
- 1991 Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
- 1991 Stadtische Galerie im Stadelschen Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt, Germany
- 1991 Hayward Gallery, London, UK
- 1991 Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Scotland
- 1990 Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, UK
- 1990 Tate Gallery, London, UK
- 1990 Magasin 3 Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden
- 1989 Kunstverein St Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland
- 1989 Jean Bernier Gallery, Athens, Greece
- 1989 Sperone Westwater Gallery, New York, NY
- 1989 Henry Moore Sculpture Trust Studio, Dean Clough, Halifax, Nova Scotia
- 1988 Konrad Fischer Gallery, Düsseldorf
- 1988 Neue Galerie – Sammlung Ludwig, Aachen
- 1988 Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, UK
- 1987 Musée Rath, Geneva, Switzerland
- 1987 Donald Young Gallery, Chicago, IL
- 1987 Jean Bernier Gallery, Athens, Greece
- 1986 Palacio de Cristal, Madrid, Spain
- 1986 Gallery Crousel-Hussenot, Paris, France
- 1986 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
- 1985 Gallery Buchmann, Basel, Switzerland
- 1985 Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, UK
- 1985 Malmo Konsthall, Malmo
- 1985 Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy
- 1984 Coracle Press, London, UK
- 1984 Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
- 1984 Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, UK
- 1984 Konrad Fischer Gallery, Düsseldorf
- 1983 Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, UK
- 1983 Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, UK
- 1983 Art Agency Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
- 1982 Art & Project, Amsterdam, Netherlands
- 1982 Sperone Westwater Fischer Gallery, New York, NY
- 1982 National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada
- 1981 Sperone Westwater Fischer Gallery, New York, NY
- 1981 Konrad Fischer Gallery, Düsseldorf, Germany
- 1981 Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, UK
- 1981 CAPC, Musee d'Art Contemporain de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France
- 1980 Karen and Jean Bernier Gallery, Athens, Greece
- 1980 Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
- 1979 Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, UK
- 1979 Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, UK
- 1978 Art & Project, Amsterdam, Netherlands
- 1978 Sperone Westwater Fischer Gallery, New York, NY
- 1978 Austellungsraum Ulrich Ruckriem, Hamburg, Germany
- 1977 Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, UK
- 1977 Lisson Gallery, London, UK
- 1977 Galeria Akumulatory 2, Poznań, Poland
- 1977 Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland
- 1977 National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
- 1976 Gian Enzo Sperone Gallery, Rome, Italy
- 1976 British Pavilion, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
- 1976 Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, UK
- 1976 Sperone Westwater Fischer Gallery, New York, NY
- 1975 Konrad Fischer Gallery, Düsseldorf, Germany
- 1974 John Weber Gallery, New York, NY
- 1974 Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Scotland
- 1973 Lisson Gallery, London, UK
- 1973 Wide White Space, Antwerp, Belgium
- 1973 Konrad Fischer Gallery, Düsseldorf, Germany
- 1973 Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
- 1972 The Museum of Modern Art Projects, New York, NY
- 1972 Yvon Lambert Gallery, Paris, France
- 1971 Gian Enzo Sperone Gallery, Torino, Italy
- 1971 Art & Project, Amsterdam, Netherlands
- 1971 Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, UK
- 1971 Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, UK
- 1970 Konrad Fischer Gallery, Düsseldorf, Germany
- 1970 Abteiberg Museum, Mönchengladbach
- 1970 Dwan Gallery, New York
- 1969 John Gibson Gallery, New York, NY
- 1969 Konrad Fischer Gallery, Düsseldorf, Germany
- 1969 Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld
- 1969 Yvon Lambert Gallery, Paris, France
- 1969 Konrad Fischer Gallery, Düsseldorf, Germany
- 2012 South America. Zédélé éditions, Brest, France. First edition: 1972, Konrad Fischer, Düsseldorf.
Group exhibitions 
- 11 October 2012 - 20 January 2013 Ends of the Earth: Land Art bis 1974 at Haus der Kunst, Munich, with about the same 100 artists mentionned here below
- 27 May 2012 - 3 September 2013 Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974 at Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, with about 100 artists including Vito Acconci, Carl Andre, Keith Arnatt, Alice Aycock, John Baldessari, etc.
- 6 July - 30 August 2010 at Torre Abbey with Damien Hirst and Heather Jansch
- 12 June - 14 August 2010 at William Griffin Gallery with James Turrell, Teresita Fernandez, Karin Sanders, Peter Wegner, Robert Therrien, and Maya Lin
- 7 September - 7 October 2006 1 + 1 = 2 with Roger Ackling at Von Lintel Gallery, New York Vonlintel.com
- 1 September - November 2, 1981 Natur-Skulptur at Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, with 35 artists including Alice Aycock, Hamish Fulton, Michael Heizer, Dennis Oppenheim, Robert Smithson, etc.
- June - July, 1970 conceptual art arte povera land art at Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna, Turin, with 44 artists including Bruce Nauman, Michael Heizer, Mario Merz, Hamish Fulton, Christo, etc.
Selected honours and awards 
- 1976 Represented Britain in the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
- 1989 Turner Prize, Tate Gallery, London, UK
- 1990 Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, French Ministry of Culture, Paris, France
- 2001 Elected to the Royal Academy of Arts
- 2005 California Residency Award, For-Site Foundation, USA
Art market 
Long's Whitechapel Slate Circle (1981) brought a record price price for the artist in 1989 when it sold for $209,000 at Sotheby's in New York. At another auction in 1992, the piece was estimated far more modestly at $120,000 to $160,000, but bidding never exceeded $110,000; instead, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. purchased it in 1994 through dealer Anthony d'Offay.
See also 
- Turner Prize History - Richard Long
- Richard Long Guggenheim Collection.
- Richard Long Official Website http://www.richardlong.org/
- Haunch of Venison http://www.haunchofvenison.com/en/index.php#page=home.artists.richard_long
- Tate Collection: Richard Long, Tate Britain, UK http://www.tate.org.uk/servlet/ArtistWorks?cgroupid=999999961&artistid=1525&page=1&sole=y&collab=y&attr=y&sort=default&tabview=bio
- "A Walking Tour in the Land of Conceptual Art", Observatoire du Land Art, 26 May 2012
- Sean O'Hagan, "One Step Beyond", The Observer, 10 May 2009. http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2009/may/10/art-richard-long
- The Collection: Richard Long, Museum De Pont, Netherlands http://www.depont.nl/en/collection/the-collection/kunstenaar/long/info/
- Richard Long: Heaven and Earth, Tate Gallery, UK http://www.tate.org.uk/britain/exhibitions/richardlong/explore.shtm
- Michael Brenson (12 September 1986), Art: At The Guggenheim, Works By Richard Long New York Times.
- Leah Ollmann (February 4, 2000), Richard Long Makes His Mark in a New Way, With Works of Permanence Los Angeles Times.
- Donald, Caroline. "The new garden at Houghton Hall, King’s Lynn, Norfolk," The Times (London), 11 May 2008.
- Richard Long newsletter No. 50 - 7 September 2006.
- Roberta Smith (February 6, 2000), ART IN REVIEW; Richard Long New York Times.
- Suzanne Muchnic (February 6, 2000), Romanticism Can Go Take a Hike Los Angeles Times.
- Michael Brenson (September 12, 1986), Art: At The Guggenheim, Works By Richard Long New York Times.
- The London Gazette: . 29 December 2012.
- "Bristol artist Richard Long among Queen's New Year Honours". BBC. December 29, 2012. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
- Carol Vogel (18 November 1992), A Night to Buy Low at Sotheby's New York Times.
- Roelstraete, Dieter. Richard Long: A Line Made by Walking. London: Afterall Books, 2010.
- Gayford, Martin. "In the studio: Richard Long," Daily Telegraph (London). April 4, 2006.
- Gooding, Mel and William Furlong. (2002). Artists, Land, Nature. New York: Abrams. 13-ISBN 978-0-810-94189-2/10-ISBN 0-810-94189-9
- Long Richard, Mirage, edition Phaidon, 1998, ISBN 0-7148-3779-2
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