Tag Archives: land art

In praise of land art


As I wrote in a post 10 months ago in a post over at Tumblr[1], there once was an artist who:

“had a garden. And every day, maybe several times a day, that artist walked a certain marked path in his garden, until the soles of his shoes had flattened the grass and eroded a path. I guess he then took a photo of his garden with its newly formed path. Maybe he sold the photos.”

Yesterday, I find out the name of this mysterious land artist, of which I had been ignorant for more than 20 years. It is a certain Richard Long (born 1945) and instead of my imagined curved geoglyph, he walked a straight line.

Richard Long first came to the attention of the art world with A Line Made by Walking in 1967 — three years before the iconic Spiral Jetty — and repeated the exercise in 1972 on a much larger scale and with more efficiency in Peru.

Where in Peru this was, I have been unable to find out, I wonder if it’s still there. Maybe it’s not far from When Faith Moves Mountains (2002) by Francis Alÿs.

Illustration: cover of a book on Richard Long‘s A Line Made by Walking by Dieter Roelstraete.