This sculpture by Richard Long is a quadrant of concentric circles made of white marble and is set in the right angle that marks the meeting of the two walls. From the second half of the sixties, the notion of sculpture was substantially broadened; thanks to Minimalist ideas the analysis of the space where the sculpture is to be placed takes on crucial importance, and as a result the relations between the spectator and the work of art are also modified. Moreover, the size of the works also grows considerably, and the conventions that had governed sculpture are totally left behind by the incorporation of new materials and also by a different use of classic ones, as in Long's case. Marble is no longer the block that has to be carved; it is those small fragments, those leftover chips, that actually make up the sculpture. The ground will house the piece, becoming decisive for the final result, but not only the ground; the whole architecture around it will define the sculpture. Within that analysis of space proposed by Minimalism and Arte Povera, the solution is for the work to be closely linked to the specific nature of a place. Long's indoor sculptures become a kind of image of the gestures he has made while travelling the countryside. That is why his work may be regarded as a kind of self-portrait, since, as he himself says, the fact of walking through a landscape is both a way of measuring it—of grasping its measurements, its shape, its contours—and a way of measuring oneself, as well as—we might add—a way of measuring that interior architecture which will house his works. Nevertheless, with his indoor pieces Long also wants to present a real work in a public space and time and thus reach a wider audience, beyond his solitary actions on landscapes as distant and imposing as the Hoggar Mountains in the Sahara Desert, the Himalayas or the steppes of Lapland.
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