Sunday, 31 May 2009

Exhibitions at CDLA, France

Two recent exhibitions at

Centre des livres d'artistes
29 may – 5 September 2009
1 Place Attane
87500 Saint-Yrieix-la-Perche

Richard Long – Heaven and Earth IV

Invitation card for Richard Long – Heaven and Earth for opening on 2 June 2009, Tate Britain, London.

Image front: Richard Long walking at Dartmoor with his father, 1968

Peter Liversidge at Bloomberg Space

Peter Liversidge – Comma 07
11 June – 18 July 2009
Bloomberg Space
50 Finsbury Square
London EC2A 1HD

Peter Liversidge has typed 86 proposals for Bloomberg SPACE. These include the possibility of opening a blood bank at Bloomberg, swamping Finsbury Square in white bunting, making a giant floral tribute, or handing each visitor an orange. Liversidge is best known for his proposals - some conceptual, some sculptural, some sublime – ranging from simple poetic moments to substantial installations and one-off performances. The proposals reference the language of conceptual art and question the role of the Artist and Institution/Gallery within their given roles. The conflict between possibility and fantasy, whimsy and visual solidity will be made evident,
by the display of all the proposals on the gallery wall.

A gin stand offering visitors an original etched glass; a giant floral tribute; a piano recital; candles emitting the smell of freshly cut grass; wildflower seeds scattered across the grassy squares of London are among the original proposals Liversidge will realise for Bloomberg SPACE. Other proposals, from the 86 originally submitted, are unrealised but live within the imagination of the audience. Some are poetic, some are performative and some unfeasibly fantastic, yet all share a generosity of spirit characteristic of Liversidge.

Collected Symphony
Thursday 2 July
7 – 8pm at Bloomberg SPACE
Pianist Tim Kent performs all the piano parts from artist Peter Liversidge’s record collection edited to form a single piece. Advance booking essential - to reserve a place email

Sound Clash
Saturday 11 July
Noon – 6pm at Pure Groove Records
6 – 7 West Smithfield, EC1
6 hour durational performance of DJs creating a narrative through song titles, lyrics, music and type.

An Evening with Tim Birkhead
Tuesday 14 July
6.30 – 7.30pm at Bloomberg SPACE
Author Tim Birkhead presents work from his book ‘The Wisdom of Birds’.

Wildflowers for the City
11 June - 18 July
Liversidge will drop wildflowers seeds from a hole in his pocket as he walks around the city.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

John Gerrard

La Bienniale di Venezia
53rd International Art Exhibition

John Gerrard Animated Scene will be a collateral project at the 53rd International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia. It will be inaugurated on June 4, 2009, and remain open to the public from June 7 - September 30, 2009. Animated Scene will present three new works as large-scale projections. Each work introduces a virtual scene - astonishingly real but entirely and meticulously fabricated by the artist and his studio between 2007-9 - based on documentation of the agri-industrial landscapes of the American Great Plains, scattered with grain silos, pig production units and small towns. A fourth work from the same series will be shown concurrently at the Palazzo Fortuny, Venice, as part of Infinitum, the final part of a trilogy of exhibitions mounted by Axel Vervoordt which began in 2007 with Artempo: When Time Becomes Art. The project is curated by Jasper Sharp, curator and writer, and Patrick T. Murphy, Director and Curator of the Royal Hibernian Academy.

For more details see

June 2009 John Gerrard will begin a guest residency at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, NL

Richard Long – Heaven and Earth III

Invitation card for press view of the exhibition Richard Long – Heaven and Earth at Tate Britain, 1 June, 2009

The front of this card is the work A Cloudless Walk
. A work from 1995 which is also published as a silkscreen print by me with Peninsula in 1996 (see my post of 20 February)

... 'I started this walk with the idea to walk across France, but I noticed that it was completely blue skies each day, so I decided to finish the walk when I saw the first cloud. So it was called A Cloudless Walk. A three-and-a-half-day walk from the mouth of the Loire to the first cloud. The walk started at a very solid geographic place, and ended, by chance, with an ephemeral phenomenon like a cloud. One of the things I like about walking is that just the simple and very normal act of days of walking can carry quite interesting ideas.'

(from a transcription of Richard Long's talk during a slide show given at the Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum, Japan, on May 25, 1997 – in: Richard Long – WALKING THE LINE, Thames & Hudson, 2002, page 147)

installation photograph exhibition Heaven and Earth: Tate, London
for more installation photographs see

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Ettore Spalletti – Museum Kurhaus Kleve II

Ettore Spalletti
works in Museum Kurhaus Kleve – on the floor, on a corner and on the wall

....In 1972 Ettore Spalletti developed a new technique based on fresco painting, in which a specially composed plaster mixture is applied to a ground of wood, linen or stone. 'I add the colour while the mixture is still fresh. It is absorbed by the plaster and colours the whole layer. This is not pure colour, however; the exact shade depends on the amount of white I use in the mixture. Red becomes pink, white stays white, black becomes grey, and so on. Then, when the surface has dried, I go over it with sandpaper. I'm also intrigued by the feel of the surface. It's not only colour, but also a kind of powder, the true colour showing through the powder. When you touch the surface it leaves an imprint on your hand.'

(text with statement from the catalogue of Sonsbeek 86)

Ettore Spalletti – Museum Kurhaus Kleve

Today, 24 May, opened Ettore Spalletti at Museum Kurhaus Kleve (Cleves, Germany). It is the first solo exhibition of this Italian artist (1940, Capelle sul Tavo, Pescara) since 25 years in Germany.
The beautiful work, paintings – or rather sculptural objects – on wood or albast stone, reminds to Minimal Art but also to fresco paintings of the Renaissance. The colours of the works – with soft shades of red, pink, blue and grey with black and white and (leaf) gold – radiate wonderful in the, sometimes specially adjusted, pristine white rooms of this museum.

a catalogue and an edition is published
image top: invitation card

Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung
Tiergartenstrasse 41
47533 Kleve
24 May – 20 September 2009

Lawrence Weiner – Galerie Hubert Winter

Lawrence Weiner – DIE EBBE UND DER STROM
Galerie Hubert Winter
Breite Gasse 17
1070 Wien, Austria

until 13 June, 2009

"Art in the abstract is a social phenomenon. It describes the relationship between material and human and is a sort of public natural science. When art is not exhibited, then it is no art at all. You can be an artist, but you do not make art" (Lawrence Weiner in an interview with Wolfgang Zinggl published in Falter, 1991)

statement from press release Galerie Hubert Winter
images: invitation card

Robert Barry 1969

Robert Barry – All the things I know but of which
I am not at the moment thinking
dimensions variable, printed text on paper, painted text on wall

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Robert Barry – Yvon Lambert Paris

Robert Barry – Word Lists
Yvon Lambert Paris
May 22 – July 18, 2009

Yvon Lambert Paris is pleased to announce the opening of
American artist Robert Barry’s solo exhibition Word Lists. Barry has shown with Yvon Lambert for more than 35 years and this exhibition marks his twelfth solo show with the gallery. One of the pioneers of conceptualism and minimalism, Barry‘s (b. 1936) work has always been focused on space and the space between: between objects, between time, between artist and viewer. To him, the “idea” of an artwork is as important as the actual art object. The manifestation of this credo has led Barry to work in a variety of unorthodox and sometimes intangible media: magnetism, thoughts, ultrasonic sound and inert gases. Recently, the artist has been interested in the more traditional mediums of painting and sculpture.
Words are an essential element to Barry’s work. They evoke mental states of flux or contemplation and
declare to the viewer a temporal and psychic intangibility. In this show Barry will utilize the walls and floor of the gallery space to exhibit individual word-based works, playing with proportion and scale both real and metaphorical. A large floor piece made of chrome colored cast acrylic letters spell out words like 'tenuous', 'remind' and 'expect'. The walls will contain several large paintings (178 x 178 cm) as well as vinyl and hand painted lettering. One particular wall work will replicate the composition of the sculpture Red Cross recently exhibited at the New York gallery.

from press release Yvon Lambert Paris

Hamish Fulton on summit Mount Everest

While Richard Long was installing his show at Tate Britain in London, his friend, the artist Hamish Fulton was one of the members of the 2009 expedition climbing the South-East ridge of Mount Everest from Nepal. Last week, on Tuesday morning 19 May, Hamish Fulton and the other members of the team succeeded to reach the summit of Mount Everest (8850 m)!

You can read a report of this expedition,
with photographs, on Everest dispatches 2009.

In Autumn 2000 Hamish Fulton made a guided and Sherpa assisted climb to the summit plateau of Cho Oyu (8175 metres) in the Himalaya region of Tibet.

Hill Figure, 2008

The Long Man Of Wilmington
a 73 metres tall hill figure cut in the chalk hillside, Wilmington, East Sussex, England

photograph by Peter Foolen, 29 April 2008

Richard Long – Heaven and Earth II

Richard Long – Heaven and Earth

Tate Britain

3 June - 6 September 2009

Invitation card:
Richard Long – Hill Figure, England 600/ Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa 1969
Walking to a Lunar Eclipse, England 1996

see for more info:

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Richard Long – Free poster


a poster published by Art on the Underground on the occasion of the exhibition Richard Long – Heaven and Earth at Tate Britain

full colour, 50 x 70,7 cm, edition 60.000 copies

the free poster will be given away on 2 and 3 June only between 7 am and 12 pm along the following underground stations of the Jubilee Line:
Stanmore, Wembley Park, West Hampstead, Baker Street, Green Park, Westminster, London Bridge, Canada Water, Canary Wharf, and Stratford.

Richard Long will also design the next Tube map cover for Art on the Underground which will be published in September

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Judo at UBS Openings, Tate Modern

As part of UBS Openings at The Long Weekend 2009: Do it yourself, a four-day Bank Holiday festival of performances, films, and music, The House of Fairy Tales presents Judo at Tate Modern on Saturday 23rd May and Sunday 24th May 2009, 12 - 6pm

The Everyday Press, in association with the British Judo Association and The Budokwai, presents the Judo Académie de Paris, technical director Yves Klein, Kodokan 4th dan black belt, as part of The House of Fairy Tales.

In 1954 the young artist Yves Klein returned from two years studying judo in Japan and opened his own grand judo club in Paris. On Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th May art and judo will once more come together at Tate Modern.
In a giant marquee by the riverside on the North side of Tate Modern there will be a full sized judo mat where for two days anyone can experience the martial art and Olympic sport that was Yves Klein’s first love and inspiration.
The British Judo Association and The Budokwai (Europe’s oldest judo club, where Klein trained when in London) will be running demonstrations of kata and randori, contest judo, open sessions for children and adults, master classes led by Olympic silver medallist Ray Stevens and World Masters medallist Danny Murphy and trial sessions for anyone who would like to join in.

Yves Klein's book The Foundations of Judo, translated by artist Ian Whittlesea and published by The Everyday Press, will be available in the Tate bookshop.

The House of Fairy Tales
is a non profit production company, set up in 2007 by artists Gavin Turk and Deborah Curtis to produce large and small scale, national and local events celebrating and promoting creative education. They work with an expanding network of visual artists, theatre performers, musicians, as well as creative mathematicians, inventors, engineers and scientists to help equip the next generation with the imagination needed for their future on the planet. They work in public spaces and in partnership with other institutions in order to reach a wide range of groups, cultures and abilities.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Carl Andre on Richard Long

An Arm Full of Twigs – Carl Andre on Richard Long

I first encountered Richard Long’s work in Konrad Fischer’s gallery in Düsseldorf. I was at once surprised and disturbed by the installation of pine needles on the floor of the gallery. I said: “Konrad, you can’t make art out of pine needles.” Konrad said: “You can now.” When I saw it I, and everyone else, looked down on it and rejoiced.

As for the story of how Portrait of Richard Long came about… At the age of 73, I find that my memory has become unreliable in so far as it exists at all. As I recall, Frank Stella made a series of witty portraits of friends and acquaintances in the form of strip drawings and paintings. In response, I made a series of small, improvised floor sculptures as portraits of my friends. I think I took my portrait of Richard to Cornell University (where he was exhibiting in ‘From Earth Art to Eco Art’) as a gift for him.

Richard once said: “I like simple, practical, emotional, quiet, vigorous art.” I would agree with his list, except I would substitute the word “passionate” for the word “emotional”. Of course artworks cannot possess emotions, but I do respond passionately to Richard’s work. From his art I feel a “fierce calm”. I envy his gift of being able to walk into a patch of woods and emerge with the makings of a great installation from an arm full of twigs.

Richard’s work has inspired me in many different ways. I am not at all tempted to imitate him – our gifts and sensibilities are much too different to allow for that. His standards are so high I have no choice but to demand more of myself. I am sure I am a better artist for having met Richard and his work, and I have always enjoyed his subtle and piercing wit. I have never met an artist finer than Richard, nor a man of higher standards or better character than he.

from Tate etc. Issue 16 / Summer 2009

Carl Andre – Untitled (Portrait of Richard Long)
Made from sticks given by Richard Long to Carl Andre and photographed by Andre (1969)
Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York © Carl Andre

Carl Andre is an artist based in New York. His exhibition at Sadie Coles HQ, London, runs from 15 July to 22 August 2009.

Richard Long – Michael Craig-Martin

The artist Michael Craig-Martin talks with Richard Long
from The Independent, 8 May 2009

Michael Craig-Martin: Richard, when I first saw your work in the late 1960s, it had many radical and original characteristics – a completely new approach to landscape, the use of simple unaltered natural materials – but the most striking to me was the way it used the floor. Do you remember when this first came to you as a way of working?

Richard Long: I would say a seminal moment when I was a student in Bristol was the Gulbenkian show at the Tate in 1964. There was a piece by Isamu Noguchi that really impressed me. It was a very minimal work, just a pure convex shape on the floor. It really knocked me out. When I came back to my space at the college I made a stepping-stone sculpture to walk on, different plaster shapes on the floor, mostly flat stable ones you could step on and a few unstable ones you couldn't. And then after that I made the plaster path with the walking man.

MCM: I remember speaking about your work to Tony Caro in the early 1970s. He was clearly very perplexed because he couldn't understand how you could make sculpture in which you did not assemble things – to make a construction, essentially.
RL: Yes, I think we probably had about four words between us throughout the whole two years I was there. But the lucky break for me was just to be at St Martin's. After I'd been thrown out of Bristol, Frank Martin gave me the chance to go there and I landed in a great peer group. I remember very clearly the first week, Hamish [Fulton] in his ironed white shirt and his Marlboro cigarettes in the top pocket, very cool – and George [Passmore], it was like going to school with Oscar Wilde. He was clearly a genius from the word go, eccentric and original in his life, his humour, his stories... So we didn't need any of those famous artists teaching there [laughs].

MCM: And you could do your own thing?
RL: In a very free way. The only constraint we had was to sign the book every morning to say where we were working. So sometimes I would say "on the roof" or the one time I just put "cycling". So I was making my work really for my fellow students, not the tutors, who were disinterested, except for Peter Atkins and Phillip King. Whereas, after I left, as soon as I hit Düsseldorf there was a group of artists that immediately appreciated what I was up to, especially Carl Andre. So he was tremendous, like a moral support, as was Konrad Fischer, and he has been all my life, really.

MCM: Did you think of yourself as a Conceptual artist? Do you?
RL: Well, I think I'm a product of my time, which also includes Minimalism, because I do like very simple, pure things. Quiet things.

MCM: I always think of your art as one of understatement.
RL: Doing almost nothing. Also there was that moment in the 1960s when the idea of filling the world with more and more objects became questionable. And, perhaps more in hindsight, there are connections with Arte Povera. You could argue that A Line Made by Walking [1967] is the ultimate Arte Povera work, it's made of nothing and disappears to nothing. It has no substance, and yet it's a real artwork.

MCM: When I think about your work in the landscape, it's never about domination, it's always about trying to identify with the place.
RL: It's like a dialogue, I would say.

MCM: It's not trying to conquer nature.
RL: Not like Land art. It's a different philosophy. It's about scale in a more radical way, not the ownership of the land. I think my landscape work explores a rich territory between the Land art of monuments and machine-made earthworks, and at the other extreme, the position of "leave no trace". Also, I think that the walking mileages have the biggest scale anyway. I suppose I'm English in the sense that I'm part of a culture of public rights of way and footpaths. So I have a freedom to use the land without needing to own it, just by walking on it.

MCM: Yes, just touching the surface of the Earth. I've always thought of American artists' attitudes to the land as typically American – a frontier spirit, the need to overcome nature in order to survive. Your approach has always been to go with nature.
RL: Yes, and also they were only using their American landscapes. They do have great landscapes and a big country. But you can't imagine Heizer going to India.

MCM: When you first started to go out into those places, you presented them in a very innocent way.
RL: Mmm... simple.

MCM: For me it's an identification with you and only you being there.
RL: That's right. Just at that time and place, often in solitude. And to be in those places is sometimes part of a bigger experience, like making a work on the top of Kilimanjaro in 1969, so the art is just the tip of the iceberg, or the mountain in that case...

MCM: When you have done something modest at a place that's very difficult to get to. You're one of the first people who initiated the idea of a walk as art, or a simple text...
RL: Or that a work could be made anywhere. On a mountain top, or it could disappear. Or, it could exist but no one else could find it. Or a local person could see it but not recognise it as art, or identify a stone I had placed on the road from another stone. I was really interested in all these different ways I could put my work in the world. And always in a simple way.

MCM: By marking your presence...
RL: ...or walking down the road. Walking across Ireland, putting a stone on the road at every mile along the way: 164 miles, 164 stones [1969]. If you put all those stones together it's a big work, but because it's spread out in space, it becomes invisible. Well, not invisible, but unnoticeable, which is different. And those stones are still out there somewhere, they haven't disappeared. So, you only know this work, which is equally a walk and a sculpture, through the information, the story, the artwork.

MCM: Also, the idea that a work exists in time... not just in space, these are different ideas, about how art can be ephemeral.
RL: People make a big deal about ephemerality and, in a way, I was never that interested in it. The most important thing for me was to make whatever I wanted to make. And if the result was ephemeral, so be it. But some works did exist for a particular or specific amount of time, like A Sculpture Left by the Tide [1970] in Cornwall. The idea of that was that the sea leaves its natural pattern of seaweed on the beach every time the tide goes out and has done for millions of years, and my work imposed another pattern in that cycle for the space of one tide, for six hours. Sometimes the temporary can illustrate the timeless.

MCM: One of the things that has struck me over the years is how much an artist's work, in order to be sustained over a lifetime, requires engagement in activities he or she finds naturally pleasurable – turning pleasure into work. Surely that's true of you?
RL: Of course, an important aspect of my work is just the pleasure of doing it, for me a walk is a great thing to do. It can feel like being outside the normal difficulties of life. Sometimes on a walk I can feel intensely alive or free or unencumbered or simply happy. Basically, a road walk is walking all day and sleeping all night, and in hindsight the time of the walk seems to have passed very quickly as an almost out-of-life experience. I love the simple pleasures of eating, getting fit or finding a new campsite or B&B each night. I realise all this might be outside the experience or interest of a lot of people, which is fair enough.

MCM: Are you interested in the Sublime as an idea?
RL: No, not really. But I'm interested to experience beautiful or powerful places like Kilimanjaro and use them in my work. Sometimes the best works are made in a sort of state of grace. Often, they're made instinctively, the right idea in the right place at the right time, for whatever reasons. And often I'm in that place almost by chance, just by being on a wilderness walk. So I could plan that walk, but not that moment or place or conditions. I like being an opportunist. I need the element of chance.

MCM: It suddenly occurred to me – you've had a unique experience of the world, haven't you? Travelling to all those places.
RL: I wouldn't put myself up there. But anyway, I've done what I've done.

MCM: You've travelled in these places in such an intense way.
RL: Well, I've used them to make art.

MCM: Which is different from other people going for other purposes.
RL: Of course. That's the point of my work. The history of mankind has been about movement. People migrated on foot out of Africa around the world. And nomads and explorers and traders and writers and poets and now tourists have all walked and travelled. I've just done the same but as an artist. But I've never particularly wanted to walk on famous footpaths like the Pennine Way or the Pilgrims Way, for example. It interests me that it is still possible to make walks for original reasons, in new ways.

MCM: And that's the real possibility of art isn't it?
RL: I think it's somehow the point of art, to do things no one else has done. It's the idea of originality – it's not the only point of art but I think it's an important aspect of it. In all walks of life, in mathematics or philosophy or music, it's human nature to reinvent the world. Always standing on the shoulders of giants. A few years ago I made an interesting work called Transference [2003]. It was based on a phenomenon in subatomic physics whereby a particle can act on the behaviour of another particle so as to create a symmetry of itself, over a relatively vast distance. I first made a walk on Dartmoor recording various things, and then later on a completely different walk in Japan. I deliberately looked out for and could find certain things that were the same as on Dartmoor, or did repeat, or I could make them repeat, even in the same order of occurrence. So it's about a symmetry of places, or events, on different sides of the world, and universal phenomena. So even though I am just making walks there's a lot to say about them!

MCM: I've always thought of you as a classical artist rather than a romantic. Is that how you see yourself?
RL: Yes. Many people, mostly in cities, have the wrong idea that anything not urban is somehow romantic. One reason I did my straight 10-mile line on Exmoor was because it was a practical place to do it. I work on Dartmoor because it's quite near where I live and because it is possible to walk a near-perfect line or circle on the moor for a whole day, for example, which you couldn't do in the Alps because it's too mountainous. I was also aware of a romantic tradition already covered in art and also in mountain and wilderness photography, like Ansel Adams or the culture of climbing books, so some of the early walks were deliberately presented in a cool or classical idea-only way. My work was never about the subject of beauty. If the idea is good the beauty looks after itself.

MCM: One of the other things I was thinking about was the physical state of the world now, the degradation of the planet. Is the world very different from when you started?
RL: I think the short answer is no. In geological time, the Scottish Highlands or Dartmoor, for example, look unchanged from 40 years ago. There's this idea that the world is crammed with people but in my particular experience it's still empty landscapes. I do think nature is stronger than we are. But that's not to say we should not pay attention to look after the planet. The very fact Dartmoor is the way it is now, treeless and empty moorland and a great place to walk, is actually because of the effects and depredations of all the mining in the Middle Ages. I've even made a sculpture using the Tinner's stones.

MCM: There's something you said years ago – that every artist is a local artist.
RL: Yes, I mean we all start from local beginnings. I went from my back garden, to places around Bristol, the towpath and mud banks of the Avon... and then when I was at St Martin's I would cycle out to Epping Forest to make works, or I did a couple of walks in France, for example, where I took the ferry to Boulogne and walked to Calais and came back on the boat [laughs]. Then, the year after I left St Martin's, I took a plane to Kenya to make works on the equator and East Africa. So, it was a gradual expansion.

MCM: But the roots of the work were in, are in, Bristol.
RL: Well, growing up there, the big limestone cliffs and the caves and the spring tides and the mud banks. So, the forces of nature were all around.

MCM: One of the other things that interests me is that you found your language comparatively young. In some way, all that had been formed by the time you were 16 and somehow you just kind of...
RL: ...continued it. Like George... he told me he never played games but he had this hacking jacket of Newton Abbot tweed that he would just wear at games lessons, smoking his cigarette, lying along the touchline. Or Andy Warhol was drawing shoes, or Bob Dylan grew up listening to obscure radio stations in Hibbing, Minnesota.

MCM: The interests were there, and they stay with you.
RL: Yes. I was doing all this work but it took me 10 or 20 years to understand what I was doing, in a way [laughs].

MCM: You and I come from a time when the personality of the artist was not a central concern.
RL: Well, I would say our generation was partly a reaction against Pop art, the cult of the personality, like Warhol or Hockney, who were the media stars of the 1960s. I partly reacted against that, I was quite keen that people didn't know what I looked like, and that the work had to speak for itself, it didn't have to rely on hype and all that media stuff, which was probably to its disadvantage, because 15 years later I realised that maybe that's why no one understood it, because I never talked about it at the time. I think the only reason I wrote my statements was because, unfortunately, no one else was saying what I thought needed to be said. Slightly contradicting myself here, when I came back from Kenya in 1969 I wrote a letter to The Guardian saying that I had put a sculpture on the top of Kilimanjaro. I thought it was a newsworthy item, you know, highest sculpture in the world, it must be worth a small mention on page four.

MCM: But nobody mentioned it.
RL: In that respect it's a different art-world now, it's rock'n'roll, it sells newspapers, which is great. Far more people are interested in art now than they were in the 1970s. For me it was exciting to think that while the visual language of the 1960s was psychedelic stuff and Pop art, I was walking lines in fields. It was private, or deeply independent of the culture then. Making my work, walking, is a solitary thing. It's not social or collaborative, and I don't rely on other people. Even in my home life, I don't have people working for me, I can't delegate. I don't even have a secretary or an assistant, I'm the last of the amateurs [laughs]. So, in many ways, I'm hopeless at all that, being social. Having said that, I've shared great walks with Hamish Fulton, walking friend and walking artist and a great companion on the road or in the mountains. Our first big trip, to South America in 1972, travelling in Bolivia, Peru and Chile, was one of the best, rich and relaxed and innocent and ambitious; with a lot of humour, it was a fantastic experience. We were light on our feet. I have amazing memories of all our walks together.

MCM: You think of yourself as a modernist, is that right?
RL: Yes.

MCM: But we clearly live in a postmodern world.
RL: Of course. All things move on.

MCM: There was a thing Marcel Duchamp said, that in the future the only way to be an artist would be to be completely secret.
RL: That's smart.

MCM: He probably got that right.
RL: Whereas Gilbert and George started underground and have worked very hard to be overground.

MCM: Or succeeded in taking the underground to the foreground.
RL: That's a good point. Speaking about them, they have a populist view of their work. But I think art's more important than that. It can be anything, that's the magic and freedom of it, to be as obscure or difficult or elitist or quiet or unseen or inaccessible...

MCM: Yes, and some of it can be very popular and others not...
RL: But I have to say, even in my own work, which is on a much lower level of exposure than theirs, I'm always amazed that if you're doing something interesting it finds its way into the world. People do know about it.

MCM: It strikes a chord, it has a life.
RL: But I completely accept that more people are interested in urban culture and life than landscapes. Also, figurative art is obviously more popular and accessible, although I've got no intellectual interest in it whatsoever. Music is the really universal art-form though. Recently, I heard Leonard Cohen say "Thank you for keeping my songs alive." It is the public that receives the work, that's the point of making it.

MCM: When I started I tried not to have one way of working, not to have a style, to allow myself as many possibilities as possible. I found that frustrating, jumping from one thing to another, but now I've fixed on my language I'm able to do a whole range of things.
RL: So you need a good language. You could say Van Gogh was painting the same paintings all his life.

MCM: But if he'd only done one, we wouldn't know about it.
RL: I always liked the quote from the Johnny Cash film. One of his group said "We only sound like the way we do because that's the only way we can play." I often think, if I had just made A Line Made by Walking it would have been a good work in its own right. But the fact that I've repeated or continued that idea for many years, walking lines in different ways, for different reasons, in different landscapes, that's part of the life of that work. The cumulative effect of all the other works consolidates and informs that first idea, which becomes a serious point of view which I can follow and use all my life.

MCM: It is principally through the body of one's work that each individual piece gains legibility as well as credibility. One's persistence forces others to take one seriously!
RL: Our back catalogues get bigger and bigger, don't they? [laughs] But I do feel my history is a positive thing. I mean, anything I do now is informed by the experience and memories of past walks and works. In theory, I could re-make the daisies [England, 1968] at any time, for example. I like the idea that some works have a freer, or more democratic status than a traditional sculpture. They can be re-made, re-mixed, or re-played, almost like music. They can be kept alive, like a song or a Japanese rock garden, which is newly raked each morning.

this interview is also published in: Richard Long – Heaven and Earth, Tate Publishing, London, 2009. Interview took place in November 2008

Richard Long – Heaven and Earth

Tate Britain, London
3 June – 6 September 2009

Featuring over 80 works, Heaven and Earth includes sculptures, large-scale mud wall works, and new photographic and text works documenting walks around the world, plus a big selection of the artists' books, postcards and other printed matter.
a catalogue is published with 120 colour illustrations, 240 pages

Richard Long
Circle in Africa
Mulanje Mountain Malawi 1978
photograph Public Freehold

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Coracle – U8 Projects, Komaki, Japan

Coracle – Art Booklet
Exhibition in container gallery, U8 projects, Nagoya Zakei University of Art & Design, Komaki, Japan
29 April – 15 may 2009

Thomas A Clark – Five Colours

Thomas A Clark – Five Colours
portfolio made in collaboration with Peter Foolen and published by Peninsula,1998
5 prints, with titlepage and colophon, printed in silkscreen on
Somerset satin white 300 grs, 48 x 59 cm
and extra sheet with text – On Imaginative Space
printed by Sjra Marx and Peter Foolen
typesetting by Tjeu Teeuwen
edition of 10 copies, numbered and signed

portfolio one copy available
price € 2000
prints and text sheet also available as a few separate signed copies

Lesley Foxcroft – Corrugated II

Lesley Foxcroft – Corrugated, 2000
portfolio with 8 prints, 33 x 33 cm
published by October Foundation, 2000
offset-lithography on Editor 130 grs,
printed by Van den Eynde, Belgium
portfolio made and printed letterpress and silkscreen by Sjra Marx
typography by Tjeu Teeuwen
published with the assistance of a grant from the British Council
edition of 100 copies, numbered and signed

Price € 100

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Thomas A Clark – Four Fruits

Thomas A Clark – Four Fruits, 1998
folded accordeon card published by Peninsula in 1998 on occasion of the exhibition Flowers & Fruit by Thomas A Clark at Peninsula, Eindhoven, 1998
printed in silkscreen, 10 x 40 cm
typography by Tjeu teeeuwen, printed by Peter Foolen
edition of 200 copies

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Cairn Gallery – Historia Naturalis

Hans Waanders, Kees Verbeek and Peter Foolen – Historia Naturalis
edition published by Peninsula on the occasion of the exhibition Historia Naturalis at the Cairn Gallery, Nailsworth, England, 1996
envelope, 15,5 x 22 cm, containing:
invitation card of the exhibition
publication with text in D/E by Tjeu Teeuwen, 8 pages
and 3 prints:
Hans Waanders – kingfisher stamp
Kees Verbeek – silkscreen and stamp
Peter Foolen – photograph and stamp

edition of 75 copies,
envelope numbered, prints numbered and signed by the artists

a few copies still available
price € 30