Richard Long

Art & Project

In his recent work, Richard Long unexpectedly appears as a kind of painter. On the white walls of the gallery are huge monochrome circles, two in brownish gray and one in a warmer reddish-brown; within the circles the white wall is left visible at intervals, thus implying not only a flat ornament but also structure and depth. Long painted with his hands, dipping his fingers in mud and clay with which he then covered the walls in a tense, rhythmic motion. Because of the supple and continuous movement of his fingers, the paintings have an overall structure that is both dynamic and controlled. On the one hand, their patterns remind one of intricate latticework; on the other, they recall the organic feeling of old landscape etchings.

The connections with Long’s past work—especially with the book in which he used mud from the River Avon on the pages, enabling the viewer to “read” the river—are

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