‘Imagining the Universe’ isn’t the only cosmos-inspired exhibition at Museum M. Richard Long's solo exhibition will be debuting at the same time. This British artist is enthralled by the universe and sees it, in addition to nature, and one of his main sources of inspiration.
Richard Long has changed the way we look at sculpture. In his work he rearranges natural materials such as stone and wood into primal forms that reference the cosmos and the universe.
Richard Long has primarily made walking the medium for his art, with nature and wilderness landscapes his main inspiration. In making long walks around the world, he often makes sculptures along the way, marks of passage and transformation. His work in geometric shapes emphasise both the order and diversity of the cosmos. They can be considered as metaphors for existence and reflect his ideas about travel, places, distance, time, space and movement.
Nature as art
Richard Long is fascinated by both contemporary ideas and prehistory. He uses classical geometric forms like lines and circles which he makes in relation to mountains, deserts, coastlines, grasslands, rivers and snowy landscapes. Transience is an important aspect of his works in nature. He mainly uses rougher volcanic rocks, driftwood, water, sometimes slate, as well as his own footsteps. The indoor mud works made with his own handprints can be seen as relating to prehistoric cave paintings. Richard Long describes each work as simple in itself, although complexity is added through the various media he uses: photography, text works, sculptures, books, drawings and mud works.
"To make a walk, you are following the whole history of mankind, from the early migrations on foot from Africa that brought people all over the world."
Sir Richard Julian Long (°1945) is een Engelse kunstenaar die woont en werkt in Bristol. Hij studeerde aan de Saint Martin's School of Art in Londen. In 1976 vertegenwoordigde hij zijn land op de Biënnale van Venetië. Hij won verschillende prestigieuze prijzen en nam wereldwijd deel aan een indrukwekkende lijst van tentoonstellingen. Zijn werk is aanwezig in de belangrijkste publieke en private collecties.
Richard Long, Muddy Water Circle, 1994. Clay on black wall; dimensions variable © Richard Long; Courtesy Lisson Gallery. Photography by Ken Adlard
Richard Long, Heaven and Earth Circle, 2002, installation view, 2019, De Pont Museum, Tilburg. Courtesy Galerie Tschudi, Zuoz (Switzerland) and the artist. © photo: Gert van Rooij
Richard Long, Time and Distance Distance and Time 2014, courtesy the artist and Konrad Fischer Galerie
Richard Long, installation view, courtesy the artist and Konrad Fischer Galerie
Eva Wittocx is M Leuven’s senior curator and is responsible for contemporary art. After graduating from KU Leuven with a master’s in art history, Wittocx became a curator at S.M.A.K. in Ghent. From there, she went on to become part of STUK, the House for Dance, Image, and Sound, in Leuven. She has been M Leuven’s senior curator, responsible for contemporary art since 2009. She represented Belgium at the Venice Biennale in 2017, curating for artist Dirk Braeckman.
Available online or at the Leuven University Library information desk.
Purchase a BANG! combo ticket for an affordable visit to the M Leuven exhibits and the Leuven University Library exhibition.
- Standard: € 12
- Discount ticket: € 10
- Combo ticket + M Leuven exhibition: €16
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- M Leuven is closed on Wednesdays.
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