Richard Long Review in The Brooklyn Rail
13 April 2020
Richard Long presented two exhibitions in New York this spring – FROM A ROLLING STONE TO NOW at Lisson Gallery, and RICHARD LONG: MUDDY HEAVEN at Sperone Westwater. Robert C. Morgan has written a review of the concurrent exhibitions for The Brooklyn Rail, exploring Long's use of materials, connection to nature and bringing the outside inside.
For many, Richard Long stands as one of the truly visionary artists of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. In this case, I use “visionary” to refer to an artist who reads the present by way of a semi-conscious ability to combine the past together with the future—this comfort in liminal spaces is characteristic of Long’s practice. Much of the praise given to his work comes from European critics, such as Rudi Fuchs, Clarrie Wallis, and Teresa Gleadowe, who understand the artist’s achievements as compatible with other major figures, such as John Cage and Robert Smithson. Long’s activities range from stone installations and calligraphies in mud to photographs of wilderness landscapes accompanied by poetic, numerical inscriptions, both derived from his walks in the Sahara, the Adirondacks, or elsewhere. To recall—indeed, to experience—these works is to comprehend an artist with vast mental and physical resources that perpetually equivocate on the razor’s edge separating the systemic from the intuitive. This precarious combination is sometimes identified with Eastern thought, yet it applies just as readily to Long, known over the years as “the walking artist.”
Image: Installation view - Richard Long, FROM A ROLLING STONE TO NOW, Lisson Gallery, 504 W 24th Street, New York.