Flow and Ebb
Sperone Westwater is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Richard Long. This is the artist's fourteenth solo show at Sperone Westwater, and his first in the new Norman Foster-designed gallery. Over the course of his forty year oeuvre, Long has used nature as both subject and medium. Systems, patterns, and repetition are inherent in his process and flow and ebb is a natural rhythm which he incorporates in this exhibition. Long will use the gallery's first four floors to present a large site-specific drawing on the double-height wall, mud-on-slate paintings, a sculpture made of Cornish slate on the outdoor terrace, text works, and photographs. The artist will create several pieces on-site in the gallery in the days preceding the opening.
The large site-specific drawing on the first floor scales the 27-foot high wall and can be experienced in its entirety from the ground floor and mezzanine level. Also exhibited on these floors are a group of River Avon mud-on-slate works, created through a process in which the artist dips portions of blackboard slate in mud, letting the water trail out and form sinewy lines, reminiscent of flowing rivers. A new sculpture made of Cornish slate is installed on the outdoor terrace.
Long presents a text work Flow and Ebb, Rise and Fall in the gallery's Moving Room, which travels between the second and fourth floors, referencing the motion of tides. The third floor features wall-sized text works that narrate Long's recent outdoor walks and experiences, such as Human Nature Walk (2011) from his 21-day walk in South Africa. In Megalithic to Subatomic: From Carnac to Cern (2008), Long describes the extreme range of materials in nature from large-sized stones to the minute atoms in particle physics.
New photographs with handwritten text are on view on the fourth floor. Andalucia Stones, A Fourteen Day Walk in the Sierra Nevada, Spain 2009 provides a narrative of Long's walk through the Spanish mountains. The artist's photographs are intrinsic to the concept of his ephemeral outdoor installations. The formal elements of his indoor pieces are reflected in the structural principles that govern his outdoor works. In speaking about his practice, Long says:
In the nature of things:
Art about mobility, lightness and freedom.
Simple creative acts of walking and marking about place, locality, time, distance, and measurement.
Works using raw materials and my human scale in the reality of landscapes.
Long was born in 1945 in Bristol, England, where he currently lives and works. He studied at West of England College of Art and at St. Martin's School of Art, London. Long was awarded the Turner Prize in 1989 and received the Praemium Imperiale Art Award in 2009. He has had numerous major solo exhibitions, including retrospectives, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1986), the Mus'e d'art moderne de la ville de Paris (1993), the Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo (1996), the Museo di Arte, Trento, Italy (2000), the Museu Serralves, Portugal (2001), Tate St. Ives, Cornwall (2002), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2006), Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (2007), Mus'e d'Art moderne et d'Art contemporain de Nice (2008), and Tate, London (2009).