Richard Long, Waterfall Line, 2000

From the Tate Collection:

This is a site-specific wall-painting, commissioned for the opening of Tate Modern in May 2000. It comprises a long rectangular area of wall painted black, at which the artist slung white river mud, scrubbing and wiping it with his gloved hands to create a swirling, striped pattern resembling the trace left by an enlarged and simplified paintbrush. This is the texture resulting from outstretched fingers. Long worked in this way on a narrow strip along the top of the black rectangle, allowing the mud to splatter down the broader strip of black background below, creating a pattern reminiscent of Chinese calligraphy brush strokes depicting the leaves of bamboo or an uneven fall of torrential rain. Long’s painting represents literally a waterfall, since it consists of marks made by water, diluted by silt creating mud, falling down the wall. The strong vertical lines created by sliding blobs of mud convey a sense of powerful physical energy as the artist worked quickly and vigorously with his material. A line of solid white expanding into millions of tiny dots at the very base of the work, where the wall joins the floor, resembles the intense spray at the base of a waterfall, where liquid hits a surface of strong resistance and is shot back upwards.

 

Posted on June 19 2012, with 97 Notes

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