In this arresting volume, London gallery director Seymour and British artist Fulton present their interviews with and impressions of British conceptual artist Richard Long, who imposes orderly and transitory patterns on nature as he hikes through wilderness areas. Long's walks take place in rural England, the U.S. and the Sahara, and on mountain ranges including the Pyrenees, Alps and Himalayas. Walking itself is Long's purest art, but documentation is the way he shares his experience with his audience: this secondary physical evidence includes outlined road maps, lists of words and phrases that represent memorable points in his journeys, and striking photos of the circles, lines and patterns he creates with rocks, with poured water or with his own footsteps. For his gallery installations, Long positions tree bark or stone on the ground and loosely, dynamically paints river mud over two-dimensional geometric forms. His work, seen here in 193 handsome photos and illustrations, has a patient, mysterious and delicate quality suggestive of time's passage. (Oct.)
In the 1960s, Long began to merge walking and art, sensing that time, the energy of place, and the human body as measurer and sensor can combine to create a work of sculpture. As this documentation of his recent work shows, the resultant sculpture is often a circle of stones (in the Andes), a line upon the Earth (Bolivia), or a mud painting on the wall of a gallery. Many of Long's works combine simplicity of form and natural materials, often suggesting archaeological ruins. Unfortunately, the text does not adequately discuss the obvious physical similarities or the differences, namely that Long's works are not integral to community life. Indeed, they are often remote, located far from the contemporary community's physical or spiritual center. The book is nonetheless handsomely presented and thought-provoking.-- Douglas G. Campbell, George Fox Coll., Newberg, Ore.