Richard Long

Date/place of birth

June 2, 1945, Bristol, United Kingdom

Richard Long - 9 Stones
Richard Long - 9 Stones

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Richard Long biography

Richard Long is a tracker and a tracer. As a “romantic wanderer”, he roams through nature, discovers and creates, always careful not to damage the given, but to expand it, to reinterpret it and bring it close to a growing audience.

Richard Long - a gentle composer and discoverer

Richard Long was born in Bristol, England on 2 June 1945. He studied art from 1962 to 1968, initially in Bristol, then London. At the start of his career, the artist was absorbed primarily with sculpture, the usual dimensions of which he quickly found too restricting and constricting. The solution lay outdoors, in nature, where he discovered the longed-for design possibilities and soon implemented them in a formidable way. In this respect, Long’s rather gentle, restrained approach differs markedly from that of his predominantly American colleagues: the British artist intentionally refrains from monumental interventions in nature, does not wish to reshape from the ground up, but fits into nature, taking the landscape conditions and elaborating them, setting soft accents that do not cause any permanent change. He accepts the transience of his art, documenting his creations with photography or drawing so that a large part of his work today is only indirectly accessible through pictorial means. Richard Long’s first work, A Line made by Walking, was created in this way, by treading a straight line in grass and photographing it.

An open circle, which includes everything

Richard Long likes to refer to the openness of his system, which includes all elements and does not exclude any possibility. His preferred form is therefore the circle, because with a circle, according to the artist, simply everything can be embraced. Richard Long also circles the world: he is repeatedly drawn out around the whole globe, encompassing everything, seeking new natural inspiration and composition possibilities. He has wandered in the Sahara Desert, climbed the Himalayan and Andes mountains, roamed Australia, England and Ireland. He makes the traces he discovers visible to others, to those who do not have the artist’s sensitive eye and would otherwise carelessly pass by the hidden treasures. Sometimes Long brings back selected stones, earth samples or woods and installs them in museums and galleries as curious, meditative sculptures.

Richard Long is also a master of the printing technique

Richard Long is deservedly seen as one of the most important representatives of Land Art and named in the same breath with the greats such as Michael Heizer, Robert Smithson and Walter de Maria; but the artist’s extensive oeuvre also includes a diverse body of prints. Although they were often created incidentally and do not represent a focal point in Richard Long’s artistic work, the high degree of perfection with which the master of Land Art commands the various printing techniques remains remarkable. In addition, they offer a coveted possibility to directly acquire Long’s art – a thing of impossibility with many of the large-format landscape compositions. Richard Long has received prizes and international awards for his work, including the Kunstpreis Aachen (1988), the Turner Prize (1989) and the Praemium Imperiale (2009), whilst in 2018 the Queen of England appointed him Knight Bachelor.

© Kunsthaus Lempertz

Richard Long Prices

Richard Long9 Stones€42.160
Richard LongSmall Basalt Ring€36.600
PortfolioArtists and Photographs€4.960

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