New York

Richard Long

Sperone Westwater

Richard Long brings to his gallery installations something of the severity, suppleness, and mystery of the wilderness that is the setting for the large-scale projects for which he is better known. His recent works on plywood, which function both as painting and sculpture, are a minimalist synthesis of contrasting elements. Physically weighty, they are floated off the walls they hang from, their sturdiness a counterpoint to the mortal fragility of their natural surfaces. With elementary monochrome geometrical shapes painted on the raw plywood in gestural strokes of china clay and river mud, these works are at once refined and raw. Their austere formal simplicity belies an almost guarded yet nonetheless resonant quality, a timorous discretion that reflects our most profound experience of the wild.

Emerson once wrote, “Nature is the opposite of the soul, answering to it part for part.” One

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the November 2004 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.