M Leuven presents a solo exhibition of Richard Long

M Leuven presents a solo exhibition of Richard Long, one of the most important British artists. Comprising sculpture, text works and mud works, the exhibition brings together important works from the artist's oeuvre together with some new works.

Richard Long's practice is considered one of the most pioneering of the 20th century and has changed the way we look at sculpture. Fascinated by both contemporary ideas and prehistory, Long recasts natural materials such as stone and wood into archetypal forms that reference the cosmos and the universe.

Richard Long has changed the way we look at sculpture. In his work he rearranges natural materials such as stone and wood into primal forms that reference the cosmos and the universe.

Richard Long has primarily made walking the medium for his art, with nature and wilderness landscapes his main inspiration. In making long walks around the world, he often makes sculptures along the way, marks of passage and transformation. His work in geometric shapes emphasise both the order and diversity of the cosmos. They can be considered as metaphors for existence and reflect his ideas about travel, places, distance, time, space and movement.

The sculptures or floor works presented by Long are made of natural stone or driftwood, arranged in basic geometric shapes such as the circle, the ellipse or the rectangle. The materials come directly from nature and literally bring nature to the museum. They are an extension of what Long does on his walks: making a small alteration or leaving a trace in the environment - only now that environment is the museum room.

During, and on the basis of, his walks, Richard Long also makes photographs and textual works. In M, Richard Long shows two kinds of text works. A selection of framed texts, and four text works that are applied or pasted directly onto the exhibition walls and thus become spatial.

Finally, Long also presents two new mud works in M. His mud works, made with his own handprints, can be seen as a reference to prehistoric cave paintings and to basic elements of the universe, a planet, earth and water. The process is simple and intuitive: he applies mud to the wall and lets it splash and drip down under the influence of gravity. Some compositions are reminiscent of a waterfall.

The exhibition is part of BANG! - the city festival around the discovery of the Big Bang theory.

Richard Long
22 October 2021 - 20 March 2022
M Leuven
As part of BANG!

Curator: Eva Wittocx


Sir Richard Julian Long (°1945) is an English artist who lives and works in Bristol.

He studied art at Saint Martin's School of Art in London. In 1976, he participated in the Venice Biennale. He has won several prestigious awards and participated in an impressive list of exhibitions all over the world. His work is part of the most important private and museum collections. 


BANG! is a city festival organised by KU[N]ST Leuven in collaboration with players from the cultural, scientific and tourist sectors. In this context M will host another exhibition ‘Imagination of the universe’ aside from the Richard Long exhibition. Central to these exhibitions is man's amazement at the creation of the cosmos.




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