The term "Conceptual Art" is based on the simple but revolutionary premise that art should be mainly about ideas instead of material objects. In other words, artists should focus on what they think, not on how things look. Conceptual artists usually set aside the traditional processes of art like painting or carving. [Sol LeWitt, Paragraphs on Conceptual Art] Consequently, their work can be confusing because it does not fit the conventional definitions of what art is and often it doesn’t even fit comfortably into the places we associate with viewing art, such as galleries or museums.
One such conceptual artist is Richard Long who essentially makes art out of nature. Some of his pieces are long spontaneous hikes designed to bring art into nature, such as his clockwise spiral walk through central England, entitled A Thousand Miles, A Thousand Hours. Other works include bringing his journeys and hikes into museums and galleries where he draws simple figures like circles out of the sediment from the places he has been. Although, his work may seem very simple and mundane there is a fascinating quality about his work and he is an important conceptual artist who is well worth studying. [www.richardlong.org]
Richard Long was born in Bristol, England in 1945 and has been a major figure in the development of the Minimal and Conceptual art movements of the early 1970;s, ;using his direct interaction with nature as the subject matter of his art.;[Article, RICHARD LONG: HERE AND THEREON VIEW AT THE MODERN AT SUNDANCE SQUARE] Working in nature has been the source of Long’s art for almost 30 years. During solitary journeys across various terrains throughout the world, he arranges temporary archetypal forms; circles, spirals, and lines, using natural materials such as stone, wood or mud naturally available at the different sites he visits. He also brings his experiences of nature indoors, creating similar works on the wal…