Richard Long

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Richard Long, 2013

Richard Long (born June 2, 1945) is an English sculptor, photographer and painter, one of the best known British land artists.



  • I am an artist who makes walks. A walk defines the form of the land in space and time beyond the scale of sculpture or the fixed image. Some of my walks are formal (straight, circular, rhythmic) almost ritualised. I have climbed around mountains instead of to the top, I have made walks about slowness, walks about stones and water. I have made walks within a place as opposed to a linear journey; walking without travelling.
    • Richard Long (1980), five, six, pick up sticks, seven, eight, lay them straight, London: Anthony D'Offay Gallery
  • My photographs are facts which bring the right accessibility to remote, lonely or otherwise unrecognizable works. Some sculptures are seen by few people, but can be known about by many. My outdoor sculptures and walking locations are not subject to possession and ownership. I like the fact that roads and mountains are common, public land. My outdoor sculptures are places. The material and the idea are of the place; sculpture and place are one and the same. The place is as far as the eye can see from the sculpture. The place for the sculpture is found by walking.
    • Richard Long & Kenneth Martin (1980) in: D. Ashton (1985), Twentieth-Century Artists on Art, p. 151
  • My work has become a simple metaphor of life. A figure walking down his road, making his mark. It is an affirmation of my human scale and senses: how far I walk, what stones I pick up, my particular experiences
    • Richard Long in a text quoted by Fuchs, cited in: Book Review Digest. Vol. 83 (1987), p. 637


  • I like to see art as being a return to the 'senses'.
    • An interview with Richard Long.Roger Cork in 'Richard Long:walking in Circles'. Exh:cat Soutn Bank Centre, London 1991
  • A sculpture, a map, a photograph; all the forms of my work are equal and complementary. The knowledge of my actions, in whatever form, is the art. My art is the essence of my experience, not a representation of it.
    • Richard Long: Books, Prints, Printed Matter. Exhib cat New York Public Library, New York 1994
  • The outdoor and indoor works are complementary, although I would have to say that nature, the landscape, the walking, is at the heart of my work and informs the indoor works. But the art world is usually received 'indoors' and I do have a desire to present real work in public time and space, as opposed to photos, maps and texts, which are by definition 'second hand' works. A sculpture feeds the senses at a place, whereas a photograph or text work (from another place) feeds the imagination. For me, these different forms of my work represent freedom and richness – it's not possible to say 'everything' in one way.
    • Richard Long, ‎British Council (1994). Richard Long: São Paulo Bienal 1994.
  • I like the fact that every stone is different, one from another, in the same way all fingerprints, or snowflakes (or places) are unique, so no two circles can be alike. In the landscape works, the stones are of the place and remain there. With an indoor sculpture there is a different working rationale. The work is usually first made to fit its first venue in terms of scale, but it is not site-specific; the work is autonomous in that it can be re-made in another space and place. When this happens, there is a specific written procedure to follow. The selection of the stones is usually random; also individual stones will be in different places within the work each time. Nevertheless, it is the 'same' work whenever it is re-made.
    • Richard Long, ‎British Council (1994). Richard Long: São Paulo Bienal 1994.


  • Nature has always been recorded by artists, from prehistoric cave paintings to twentieth-century landscape photography. I too wanted to make nature the subject of my work, but in new ways. I started working outside using natural materials like grass and water, and this evolved into the idea of making a sculpture by walking … My first work made by walking, in 1967, was a straight line in a grass field, which was also my own path, going ‘nowhere’. In the subsequent early map works, recording very simple but precise walks on Exmoor and Dartmoor, my intention was to make a new art which was also a new way of walking: walking as art.

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