British artist Richard Long is to be awarded the Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon, an award that honours the lifetime achievements of one of our greatest artists. Generously supported by The Swarovski Foundation, the award will be presented to Long at a special gala dinner hosted by Whitechapel Gallery Director Iwona Blazwick OBE on 19 March 2015.
The artist was chosen by a panel of art experts chaired by Iwona Blazwick: Stephen Deuchar, Director, The Art Fund; Ann Gallagher, Head of Collections (British Art), Tate; and, Jackie Wullschlager, Chief Art Critic, The Financial Times.
Blazwick said,"Richard Long revolutionised installation art, fusing together performance, landscape, language and photography. His 1971 exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery was radical, filling the space with a huge cross made of pine needles. He is the Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon because he is a pioneer. At a time when concern about the environment is critical and live art, sculpture and performance poetry is seeing a huge resurgence, Richard Long has never been more important. He is a revelation and inspiration to successive generations of artists."
Nadja Swarovski, Chairperson of the Swarovski Foundation said: "The Swarovski Foundation is proud to support the Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon Award, in recognising Richard Long. Richard’s sensitivity in respecting the environment and his use of elements from nature are incredibly powerful and inspiring. The Whitechapel Gallery’s annual fundraiser, raises important funds to transform the lives of children and young people through educational programmes across art, design and culture. The Foundation is honoured to partner with the Whitechapel Gallery as part of its Culture and Creativity pillar to empower and support the development of the next generation to engage with contemporary art and ideas."
For more information see this article by Rachel Spence in the Financial Times