“Richard was busy doing these pieces, and a trail of mud was going to the basement,” said Flavin Judd, curator of the Judd foundation.
Created by American minimalist pioneer, Donald Judd, the Foundation is housed in the corner cast iron Soho building where the artist and his family lived. The upper floors preserve Judd’s self-designed furniture, his archives and working space. With its presence in Marfa, the Judd Foundation has made the Texas spot an art incubator and destination.
At the forefront of installation, performance and immersive art, the Turner Prize-winning British artist Richard Long has epically walked the world and is closely connected to the emergence of Land Art. His performative practice using nature as both subject and medium has been essential in the continued redefinition of sculptural boundaries. The widely and internationally exhibited artist lives and works in his birthplace of Bristol, England.
The ground floor gallery is where Long created the two site-specific wall pieces. “Friendships” series of concentric hands is executed in terra cotta. “Humans, since cavemen have been making handprints,”Long said. “I’ve done circles my whole life.”
The terra cotta streaks of “Falls on Spring” cascade down a black gesso background. The top half of swirling terra cotta drips down to create a transcendentally simple pattern. “I make the top half, and nature makes the bottom. I had no idea what I was going to do until I came here, “ Long explained. “I don’t make art in the studio.” The adjacent wall pieces, created with mud in a liquid state, share a visual and spiritual immediacy.
Donald Judd had written that “Richard Long is the best artist in Europe.” How fitting that this beautifully intimate show is presented in Donald Judd’s historical space.
Words: Ilka Scobie Photo Photo: Luigi Cazzaniga