richard long at tate britain

B92C7687-BBF7-4E53-BE6A-0D692B126154.jpgwhen richard long and his fel­low stu­dent hamish ful­ton were at st. mar­t­in’s in the ’60s, the avant-garde was talk­ing about the pos­si­bil­i­ty that art was no longer about pro­duc­ing con­crete rep­re­sen­ta­tions, but should pri­mar­i­ly be con­cerned with ideas.

this is a seri­ous prob­lem for sculp­tors of course. how does an artist make inter­ven­tions in the phys­i­cal world if the pri­ma­cy of art is in the idea? both long and ful­ton — often work­ing togeth­er, embarked on a prac­tice which involved using actions of the artist to explore the rela­tion­ship between the phys­i­cal activ­i­ty with its doc­u­men­ta­tion. A22B78FD-3FE7-4F44-AFF6-85AA3E21EF9C.jpgboth of them keen walk­ers, ful­ton and long, their prac­tice involved embark­ing on pre­scribed walks with­in pre-set para­me­ters; with long mak­ing inter­ven­tion­al marks in the land­scape, and pho­tograph­ing the results for dis­play in gallery and artists books. he also began bring­ing objects from these walks into gallery spaces, arrang­ing nat­ur­al and found objects — rocks, stones, mud, wood into often geo­met­ric installations.

long has often been char­ac­terised as, far from an anti-tra­dion­al­ist, in fact some­thing of a wist­ful roman­tic — the pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with wild spaces in the land­scape, the con­tin­u­ing obses­sion with the intractable divi­sion of ‘art’ and ‘nature’ as dis­tinct cat­e­gories. the nat­ur­al inher­i­tor, in fact, to the painter­ly con­cerns of con­sta­ble, turn­er, and the british roman­tic tra­di­tion. the venue for ‘heav­en and earth’, the first large scale show for long in eigh­teen years, at TATE britain, seems entire­ly appo­site then.richard-long-a-line-in-scotland-1981-c2a9-copyright-the-artist.png

Richard Long: heav­en and earth
TATE britain
until sep­tem­ber 6th


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