Richard Long


Untitled 19, Richard Long

Richard Long’s drawings feel very primitive to me. I chose to focus on his drawings because there was an element of simplicity and rawness to them. I also see a great deal of texture in this piece, which entices me considering it is a drawing. 

Untitled 19 reminds me of a calendar. It could also be a counting or numbering system. I read a book about the first homo sapiens and about their techniques of counting. They did not develop or understand the concepts of numbers in the sense that we do (like counting “0”, “1”, “2”, …). Rather, they made marks on wood or stone to count days, nights, cycles, etc. But most importantly, they counted for agricultural development. This “primitive” system of counting stuck with me. Maybe it’s because of my math background. This piece by Richard Long reminds me of counting. It kind of looks like a calendar carved from wood that marks some pattern. Maybe days, maybe nights. It looks like it could have been symbols on a tree that was preserved and exhibited for us to study primitive cultures.  It is also very minimal, but it looks like it serves a purpose.


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