new-york

Richard Long

Sperone Westwater

What we see of Richard Long’s art—his construction of rings made from alpine granite, or lines constructed of burnt timber—rarely exists outside the conventional art-viewing context of galleries and museums. However, Long’s true medium is his walks. Spanish Stones, 1988, documents a walk through Spain for 410 miles in 14 days from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean, and Mississippi Waterline Walking Line, 1988, documents a walk along the coast of the Mississippi River in Illinois. The works, whether photographic, textual, or sculptural, are not representations per se, but refer to the artist’s particular experiences of sense data from the conditions of the given terrain.

Long shows no inclination toward questioning the essence of nature or of Emersonian epistemology. Like Thoreau, who took Emerson’s transcendental rhetoric outdoors and subjected it to empirical experimentation, Long

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