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Hepworth Wakefield's second year of Contemporary exhibitions opens with works by Richard Long
Works by Richard Long, one of Britain’s most significant artists, will be on display at the UK’s largest purpose-built gallery from 23 June until 14 October.



WEST YORKSHIRE.- The Hepworth Wakefield will be launching its second year of contemporary exhibitions this summer with an exhibition featuring renowned artist, Richard Long.

Simon Wallis, Director of The Hepworth Wakefield said: “We’re delighted to launch our second year at The Hepworth Wakefield with new works by one of Britain’s most significant artists, Richard Long.

Opening on Saturday 23 June and running until Sunday 14 October, the exhibition features new works by the artist and is part of the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration, running from 21 June until 9 September 2012, bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK.

Works by Richard Long, one of Britain’s most significant artists, will be on display at the UK’s largest purpose-built gallery from 23 June until 14 October. It will comprise two new works inspired by the architecture and locality of the gallery and works on loan from the ARTIST ROOMS collection, which is jointly owned by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland.

The exhibition will explore the artist’s practice across his extensive career, from early photo-based works such as A Line Made by Walking, 1967 and England, 1968, to later sculptures Willow Sticks, 1980 and Cornish Slate Ellipse, 2009.

Two new site-specific works will be made for gallery, a prototype grass sculpture in the gallery grounds and a china clay wall-work, responding to the new architecture of The Hepworth Wakefield, with the historic River Calder flowing past outside.

A programme of associated learning activities for adults, families and young people will run in parallel to the ARTIST ROOMS: Richard Long. The simplicity and openness of Long’s art, in particular the walk, the central tenet of Long’s practice, is central to the development of these programmes. A summer school for young people will offer a unique opportunity for this audience to engage with and respond to their local environment.

Richard Long (born Bristol, 1945) is one of the UK’s most significant and influential artists. He has been at the forefront of British art for over forty years, pioneering new ideas and directions through an exploration of landscape as both medium and subject of his work.

Long started making sculptures in the landscape in the mid-1960s. He used photography to record the ephemeral traces of actions such repeatedly walking a line in a field of grass. Subsequent early map works recorded very simple but precise walks on Exmoor and Dartmoor with the intention, stated by Long, ‘to make a new way of walking: walking as art.’ The walks are described in Long’s art in three ways: in maps, as photographs or as text works.

Each walk expresses a particular idea, such as walking in a straight line for a predetermined distance, or walking between the sources of rivers, or measuring a walk by tides or dropping a stone into each river crossed along a coast to coast walk. Long’s work is deeply connected to an idea of autobiography, each work being ‘a portrait of the artist touching the earth’. While many of his works connect directly or indirectly with Bristol and the River Avon, where the artist grew up, and still lives, connecting landscapes, tides, materials (estuary mud) Long’s walks also take him through remote areas of Britain and as far afield as Nepal, Africa, Mexico, Mongolia and Bolivia.

The riverside setting of The Hepworth Wakefield offers a fitting backdrop to this exhibition of Long’s work. The works on display form part of the ARTIST ROOMS collection, which is jointly owned by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland with additional new work chosen by Long and two new commissions for The Hepworth Wakefield.

Long’s work features in many important public and private collections worldwide, including Tate, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, and Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. A major retrospective of his work, Heaven and Earth, was shown at Tate Britain in 2009.










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