Richard Long (British, b. 1945)
slate, Diameter - w:540.00 cm (w:212 9/16 inches). Seventy-fifth anniversary gift of the Cleveland Society for Contemporary Art on the occasion of its Thirtieth Anniversary 1991.111
Richard Long's art is based on nature and his interaction with it. He has explained, "My work is real, not illusory or conceptual. It is about real stones, real time, real actions. I use the world as I find it." This haunting sculpture contains almost 200 previously cut, irregular pieces of slate arranged in a circular format. Long obtained the stones from a quarry in the small village of Delabole in Cornwall, England, which has been a source of materials for his sculptures since the 1960s. The quarry's usual customers are builders, who use cut slate for various architectural purposes such as floors, roofs, and counter tops. In providing these products, the quarry cuts the stone, often leaving discards and endpieces. Long then selects these castoffs to create his evocative works of art. In Cornwall Circle, each stone is unique in shape, size, and textural markings. However, the overall arrangement is a unified composition with geologic and natural references. For example, when viewed from a low vantage point, the stones suggest a mountain range.