Richard Long

Slate Circle

1979

Medium
Slate
Dimensions
None
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Anthony d'Offay 1980
Reference
T03027

Display caption

The slate came from a quarry in mid-Wales which Long passed whilst completing a walk 'From the source of the River Severn to the summit of Snowdon, 60 miles'. In installing the work 214 stones are laid down in an arbitrary pattern within a circle drawn on the ground in pencil with a diameter of 6.60 metres. None of the stones touch and although they are selected at random the fairly even distribution of sizes and lengths is intentional.

Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry

T03027 SLATE CIRCLE 1979

Not inscribed
Slate, 214 pieces, diameter 260 (660 approx)
Presented by Anthony d'Offay 1980
Exh: Richard Long, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, November–December 1979 (no catalogue)

The Slate Circle is made by laying 214 stones in a haphazard pattern within a circle drawn on the ground in pencil with a diameter of 6.60 metres. None of the stones touch, and they are chosen at random except that there should be a fairly even distribution of sizes and lengths. The Gallery has the certificate of ownership which accompanies the work, giving directions for laying the slate.

Long chose the slate for this piece from a quarry in mid-Wales that he had passed whilst completing part of a piece entitled ‘Four Walks: Winter 1977’, the specific walk being ‘From the source of the River Severn to the summit of Snowdon, 60 miles’. (This is the only connection between the sculpture and the walk).

A similar work using 168 slate pieces from the same quarry was shown in Un Certain Art Anglais at ARC, Paris, and the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven in 1979.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1978-80: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1981

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