Richard Long (B. 1945)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM THE MATTHYS-COLLE COLLECTION
Richard Long (B. 1945)

Stick Circle

Details
Richard Long (B. 1945)
Stick Circle
wood, in two hundred and thirty-one parts
diameter: 86 5/8in. (220cm.)
Executed in 1980
Provenance
Art & Project, Amsterdam.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in May 1980.
Exhibited
Deurle, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Verzameling Roger en Hilda Matthys-Colle, 2007, p. 141 (illustrated, p. 100).
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
Post lot text
This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed and dated by the artist.

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Lot Essay

Acquired the year it was created and unseen in public since, Stick Circle (1980) is a poetic example of Richard Long’s floor-based sculpture. The work – which echoes a drawing Long made in the Matthys-Colle family’s visitors’ book in 1974 – consists of 231 sticks arranged haphazardly within a circle 2.2 metres in diameter. Following certain instructions, the owner is free to deploy the sticks within the circle as they wish. ‘I like the idea that some works have a freer, or more democratic status than a traditional sculpture’, Long has said. ‘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’ (R. Long, quoted in ‘And So Here We Are: A Conversation with Michael Craig-Martin’, in Richard Long: Heaven and Earth, exh. cat. Tate Britain, London 2009, p. 177). The circle – along with the cross, the line and the spiral – is one of the central forms of Long’s art. One of his first outdoor works was Turf Circle, a sunken, circular bed of grass created in his neighbour’s garden in Bristol in 1966. Shortly afterwards Long went to Central Saint Martins to study sculpture alongside the likes of Gilbert & George, the ‘living sculptures’ who, like him, would go on to obliterate the boundaries between art and life.

Long developed a unique practice which centres around the immaterial action of walking through nature, freeing art of its formal constraints into vast new scales of time and distance. His materials and forms are resolutely simple, unobtrusive and organic. Rudi Fuchs has compared the impact of Long’s seminal Line Made by Walking (1967) – a line of flattened grass made by walking in a field, recorded only in a photograph – to that of Malevich’s 1915 Black Square, ‘a painting which cancelled previous art in one grand, abrupt statement of conviction – the conviction that something was over and that there was no need to hang on’ (R. H. Fuchs, Richard Long, exh. cat. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 1986, p. 45). Works like Stick Circle, created for a gallery space, are complementary to Long’s ephemeral outdoor practice, formalising and recording his ideas in much the same way as his photographs, texts and books document his land-based works. Bringing together elements of Minimalism, Conceptual art and Arte Povera in a statement of elegant simplicity, Stick Circle encapsulates Long’s radical and quietly powerful vision.

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