5 paths richard long biography
By using our site, you agree to our terms , and usage of cookies. Not land art, exactly - he's always resisted that label as he has resisted any associations with the romantic walking tradition of Rousseau, Wordsworth, Thoreau. Please, try again later.
Decay De-skill and Scavenge: Bristol Family Arts Festival In Conversation with Richard Family Storytelling Seeta Patel: The West of England Design Family Storytelling Penthesilea Queen of the Trace and Labour in Derek Jarman early short The Amazing Equal Pay Show: Marie Yates Evaporation and Fell Family Storytelling Boat Trip He was nominated inandand then won the award in for White Water Line.
Long studied at Saint Martin's School of Art before going on to create work using various media including sculpture, photography and text.
Long was born in Bristolin south-west England. Several of his works were based around walks that he has made, and as well as land based natural sculpture, he uses the mediums of photography, text and maps of the landscape he has walked over.
In his work, often cited as a response to the environments he walked in, the landscape would be deliberately changed in some way, as in A Line Made by Walkingand sometimes sculptures were made in the landscape from rocks or similar found materials and then photographed. He created scenery for school plays and was allowed to create a mural in the dining hall at age His parents similarly allowed him to create a large mural of snow-capped mountains in the family's living room. Next, Long transferred to the rather conservative and provincial West of England College of Art, where his love of nature and sport was atypical.
Here he began experimenting with the physicality that would become central to his artistic production. His refusal of more traditional forms of painting or sculpture, however, was problematic; he was ultimately expelled for an ephemeral, snow-based, school project.
Creating a large snowball, Long carefully rolled it down a slope, tracing the existing contours in the landscape. The end result was a linear formation in the snow, which he photographed. At this point, the photograph was merely a document of the finished work of art, an indentation in the snow that would eventually disappear.
In the context of the conservative profile of the college, this experimentation was inconceivable; Long was deemed "too precocious," and asked to leave.
He later explained that the school considered his iconoclastic artwork a sign that he was "mad. Taking a break from schooling, Long briefly worked in a paper mill, where he continued to create art, frequently taking excess paper to make crumpled sculptures.
Walk the line
Enrolling at Saint Martin's School of Art in London, he joined a tight-knit group of friends, becoming especially close to peer Hamish Fulton. While his professors included the acclaimed sculptors Anthony Caro and Philip King, Long continued his independent investigation of less traditional media for sculpture.
Instead of working in metal or stone, he experimented with sand and water in the school's garden or on the rooftops, where he blocked the school's drains to leave water stains on the roof's surface. At a time when his colleagues were working on monumental forms in fiberglass and welded metal, his quiet, iconoclastic gestures broke with the legacies of both Abstract Expressionism and Pop artabandoning the studio and the very notion of permanency in favor of understated, performative, and ephemeral works of art.
Straight from Saint Martin's, Long was recognized on the international art circuit, beginning with the influential German gallerist Konrad Fischer in As Long later recalled, he "sent some sticks in the post from a tiny post office [in Ireland]. On the strength of those sticks Konrad offered me a show in Dusseldorf. Everything came together fast. Following the successful trip to Germany, he traveled to Italy, where he met Giovanni Anselmo and Marisa Merz and showed in the influential Arte Povera exhibition of Andre, an early admirer of Long's work who called him a "master artist of the earth taken as a living entity," introduced his work to dealers in New York.
These connections and assistance propelled both his self-esteem and career. Long marveled that he was able to support himself by selling this unconventional work, explaining, "I was amazed that someone bought that first show. It was a line of sticks on the floor. I knew what I doing was important but I had no idea it would be commercially viable.
He also married his art school girlfriend Denise Johnston, in a ceremony in Kenya where they stood on either side of the equator. The couple later had two daughters, Betsy and Tamsin.
Long's environmental sculptures and walking-based works of the late s and s intersected with contemporary experiments in performance and conceptual art. Although many of his works were based on his actions and documented with sparse imagery and text, his focus on nature made him a pioneer in the emerging field of Land Art.
When people do figure in Ravilious's paintings marines, soldiers, airmen, farmerstheir heads are often featureless and coloured the pink of healed skin - as though they have been face-scalped. The audacity of Long's early work lay in freeing sculpture from the constraints of scale.
He dispersed his art into the landscape, busting it not just out of the gallery, but out of almost all spatial limits. Long's other innovation was to make his work not only in the landscape, but of the landscape. Not land art, exactly - he's always resisted that label as he has resisted any associations with the romantic walking tradition of Rousseau, Wordsworth, Thoreau.
His early work was categorically different to the land art projects that were under way in America in the same period Robert Smithson, Hans Haacke, James Turrell. Long's interventions were more modest, his sculptures bigger but less massy. The same year that Smithson was hiring earth-movers to bulldoze his Spiral Jetty into place on the salt flats of Utah a 1,ft chameleon's tongue of black basalt, curling out into ruddy waterLong was walking due north over Dartmoor. As Turrell was starting to reshape an extinct volcanic cinder crater in Arizona, Long was arranging a small circle of stones in the Andes.
Precedents did exist for Long's "big move" of the late 60s, his heave of sculpture into and across the landscape. Henry Moore, reflecting on the origin of his carved stone Recumbent Figuredescribed how he had "become aware of the necessity of giving outdoor sculpture a far-seeing gaze".
Ravilious had an unexecuted plan to paint a map of all the places on the South Downs that he and his lover, Helen Binyon, had kissed. Edward Thomas developed a method of making one-day walks in the design of "a rough circle", "trusting", as he put it in The South Country"by taking a series of turnings to the left or a series to the right, to take much beauty by surprise and to return at last to my starting-point".
On these walks, Thomas would follow what he called "the old ways": Thomas's walks knowingly laid new tracks on an already marked ancient landscape.
Thomas never covered the distances that Long does, however.
On Midsummer Day inLong tramped 40 miles westwards from Stonehenge to Glastonbury, "following the sun". Inhe covered miles in 11 days, from Cardigan Bay to the Suffolk coast.
He knocked off the 1, miles of the Lizard to Dunnet Head in 33 days, leaving 33 stones by the wayside as he went. He possesses a pair of what Keats once called "patient sublunary legs". Divider-like, they measure the land, and as his legs measure it, his feet mark it, leaving their "three-dimensional traces" the footprint as an act in time as well as space.Richard Long (actor)
Long's legs are his stylus, his feet the nib with which he inscribes his traces on the world. Walking becomes an act of inscription, and his work is a reminder that our verb "to write" originally referred to a kind of incisive track-making. The Old English "writan" carried the specific meaning "to incise runic letters in stone":