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date: 14 November 2019

Long, Richard locked

(b Bristol, June 2, 1945).
  • Vanina Costa
  •  and Lin Barton

Extract

(b Bristol, June 2, 1945).

English sculptor, photographer and painter. He studied at West of England College of Art in Bristol (1962–5) and from 1966 to 1968 at St Martin’s School of Art, London, where his fellow students included other artists who were redefining the terms of sculpture in England, among them Hamish Fulton, Jan Dibbets, Gilbert and George, and John Hilliard. Within a year of his departure from St Martin’s, Long was closely associated with the emergence of a new art form, Land art, having already produced such works as A Line Made by Walking (1967; London, Tate), a photograph of the trail left in the grass by walking back and forth in a straight line; another work, England (1968; London, Tate), consists of an X shape made by cutting off the heads of flowers in a field, again presented in the form of a photograph.

Long made his international reputation during the 1970s with sculptures made as the result of epic walks, sometimes lasting many days, to remote parts of the world, including desert regions of Africa as well as Australia, Canada, Japan, Switzerland and Norway. Guided by a great respect for nature and by the formal structure of basic shapes, especially circles, he never allowed facile exotic connotations to intrude into his work, although some of his sculptures evoked the mysterious connotations of ancient stone circles and other such monuments. Different modes of presentation, sometimes combined, were used to bring his experience of nature back into the museum or gallery. These included, above all, photographs documenting the sculptures left behind in their original setting, such as ...

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