Hamish Fulton

Serpentine Galleries

The work of Hamish Fulton has been described as originating from “the experience gained during walks made in the landscape,” as “travelling toward a kind of primal self that perhaps only exists in nature as a pure non-judgemental, non-theoretical force,” and as reflecting a relationship to nature that is “one of deep, almost religious respect.” To consign two decades of the artist’s work to this sort of mystification strikes me as patently wrongheaded: such claims evade both the origin of Fulton’s work in Conceptual art and the continued importance of the issues raised by the movement to an understanding of his project.

Indeed, to think back over Fulton’s career is to be thrust into the heart of darkness of Conceptual art. It’s not too difficult to demonstrate how descriptions of his work sustain the “dematerialization” myth. Yet, while the trope of dematerialization underscores the

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