From the MAO archive: Richard Long’s Land Art

This is the first blog post in our #MAOarchive series. Discover past exhibitions, artists, events and stories from the gallery archive as we delve into our collection of photographs, programmes, correspondence and memories from Modern Art Oxford’s history since its opening in 1966.

First up is renowned British sculptor and land artist Richard Long, who exhibited at the gallery in 1971 and in 1979. His work is associated with the Land Art movement, which seeks to marry art and landscape together.

Richard Long exhibition at Modern Art Oxford in 1971.

Long observed and celebrated patterns found and created in nature, such as ‘a straight line in the grass made by the impression of his footsteps as he walked up and down the line’, or ‘a spiral of seaweed left on the seashore’.

Richard Long exhibition at Modern Art Oxford in 1979.
Negatives from a workshop held by Richard Long at Modern Art Oxford on the occasion of his exhibition in 1979.

40 years on, we love the connections between Long’s practice and the work of our How Nature Builds project participants, who have taken inspiration from layers, textures and shapes found in nature to create their own organic artworks. Explore the How Nature Builds 2020 photo gallery to discover more here.

Organic paintings made using spirulina, clay and teabags, by Lillian, How Nature Builds 2020 participant.
Clay slip painting made using clay collected from Wytham Woods, by Angela, How Nature Builds 2020 participant.

Follow #MAOarchive on Instagram to discover more memories from the gallery’s history.

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