Year created:
Richard Long, Brownstone Circle, 2000

Richard Long, Brownstone Circle, 2000
brownstone, 23’ 4” in diameter
Courtesy of the artist and James Cohan Gallery, New York/Shanghai
Photograph by Scout Hutchinson

Click images for larger view

23’ 4” in diameter

Courtesy of the artist and James Cohan Gallery, New York/Shanghai
Exhibit Date: 
On View Jul 08, 2015 - Jun 10, 2019

Since the late 1960s, internationally renowned artist Richard Long has been making sculptures related to long walks he takes through rural regions in his native Great Britain, as well as remote locations across the world. He establishes pre-set conditions about the distance or time spent on his journeys, and some of his walks are aligned with rhythms of the natural world, such as solstices or celestial events. Along his walks, Long often creates ephemeral sculpture of stones, wood or mud arranged in primary geometric patterns and shapes, which he documents photographically. Through his walking practice and related understated interventions in the land, Long has expanded the definition of sculpture to be durational, ephemeral, and inextricably part of the natural environment.

Related to Long’s walks are his circular stone sculptures, such as Brownstone Circle, which are displayed in galleries or public outdoor locations. Long believes circles are a timeless and universal form. The stones that comprise his sculptures are usually small enough to carry. Each stone thus references human touch and recalls the artist’s own journeys and sculptural arrangements in the landscape. These arrangements of organic materials within built environments provide a way for viewers to consider the tensions and harmonies that emerge when basic forms of primal nature enter spaces of man-made culture. Long emerged as an artist during the 1960s and 1970s, participating in landmark exhibitions associated with Land Art and Arte Povera, such as Earth Art at Cornell University, New York in 1969. Long’s works are also associated with Minimalist sculpture, comparable to the logical arrangements of Carl Andre’s square metal plates or Donald Judd’s stacked boxes. Yet in contrast to the industrial materials and processes favored by some Minimalist artists, Long’s peripatetic travels to remote locales and his use of only earthly materials distinguish his singular sculptural practice.

From 1962 to 1965 Long studied at the West of England College of Art, and then at St. Martin’s School of Art and Design, London, from 1966 to 1968. He has had numerous major solo exhibitions, including retrospectives at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1986), the Musée d’art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris (1993), the Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo (1996), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco (2006), Tate Britain, London (2009), and Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2010). Long represented Great Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1976 and received the Turner Prize  in 1989. In 1990 he became a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French government and was awarded the highest international distinction for achievement in the arts, the Praemium Imperiale Prize for Sculpture, in 2009.