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Richard Long (b. 1945)
Richard Long (b. 1945)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF MARTIN VISSER, BERGEIJK
Richard Long (b. 1945)

Small Turf Circle

Details
Richard Long (b. 1945)
Small Turf Circle
turf pieces
diameter: 220cm.
Executed in 1990
Provenance
Konrad Fischer Galerie, Düsseldorf.
Acquired from the above by Martin Visser.
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 by the artist.

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Lisa Snijders
Lisa Snijders

Lot Essay

Shifting between order and chaos, the turf fragments of Richard Long’s Small Turf Circle negotiate the boundary between the geometry of human rationality and the chance arrangements of nature. Shaped over thousands of years by slow accumulation and inching transformation, witnesses to a million sunrises and twilights, the ancient remnants of Small Turf Circle also vividly retain Long’s light and deft touch, which has uprooted and abstracted them into a loose circle. Attesting to Long’s presence at a particular time in a particular landscape, this arrangement is a surviving trace of the fleeting passage of an artist who works alongside the ephemeral forces of nature.
Long’s first exploration into the potential of art to be a short-lived intervention in nature was in 1966: Turf Circle was created by cutting a circle into a manicured Bristol lawn, then replacing the excavated turf at a lower level to make a recessed pane in the ground. With this work, Long established the ephemeral gesture as a medium of creating art, and began a journey on which he has invisibly etched lines, circles, spirals and squares onto the landscapes of seven continents, measuring them out, step by step, with the endurance of his own body. Space and time become the primary materials he moulds: ‘I like to use the symmetry of patterns between time, places and time, between distance and time, between stones and distance, between time and stones’ (R. Long, ‘Five, six, pick up sticks’ (1980), reprinted in B. Tufnell (ed.), Richard Long, Selected Statements & Interviews, London 2007). In his wake, Long leaves marks of his passage: patterns traced onto the sand of the Sahara, a thousand stones at the top of an ancient English cairn, a line of rocks pointing towards a Himalayan peak. Melding the inquisitive, questing principles of Conceptual Art with the essential forms of Minimal Art, Long describes his work ‘as abstract art laid down in the real spaces of the world’ (R. Long, ‘Words After The Fact’ (1982), reprinted in B. Tufnell (ed.), Richard Long, Selected Statements & Interviews, London 2007). 
Unlike those of Long’s works which can only be comprehended through maps, photographs of transient marks or hauntingly poetic lists of natural phenomena, Small Turf Circle retains a satisfying tangibility, allowing the viewer to physically experience the materials which Long encounters on his journeys. Created in the likeness of nature, from its materials and using its processes, Small Turf Circle explores how art, like the landscape, is both eternal and ephemeral. As the artist explained, ‘I like common means given the simple twist of art. I choose lines and circles because they do the job’ (R. Long, ‘Five, six, pick up sticks’ (1980), reprinted in B. Tufnell (ed.), Richard Long, Selected Statements & Interviews, London 2007).

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