Born in Bristol in 1945, Richard Long is one of the most important exponents of Land Art and Minimal Art. His oeuvre encompasses conceptual paths he creates by walking in all corners of the globe which he documents with photographs and sometimes with texts. Over the course of such walks he creates temporary sculptures on the ground made of stone or wood which are later removed or allowed to weather naturally after he has documented them photographically. Long has been working in and with nature, leaving his own mark, for more than 50 years now.
One of Long’s first key works was A Line Made by Walking, a path trod down by the artist in 1967 in a meadow full of daisies. He then continued to develop the concept by also laying out stones or twigs in museums and galleries. His sculptures and pictorial work in rooms have thus been thus transferred to places where they will be preserved, where they will be safe. In such places, the line, the cross, the circle, the spiral is guaranteed a continued existence. Since the early 1970s, Long has also been using his hands or his feet to apply “signs” of this kind to floors or walls using mud – in and impetuous and yet controlled way.
The Tschudi Cross, named in 2005 after the place where it was first laid out, Galerie Tschudi in Zuoz, Switzerland, is a cross made of Verruca stone. Verruca stone is a variegated quartz conglomerate which comes in different sizes and hues. There are fragments of slate, lumps of feldspar and a sericitic bonding agent embedded in it. The various layers also contain sandstone, siltstone and claystone, as well as volcanic deposits of lava and ash. For the Tschudi Cross Long selected fragments of stone in a mainly reddish hue and arranged them in the shape of an equal-sided cross.
The Tschudi Cross is on permanent loan from the Appletree Collection and it is being shown in one of Museum Folkwang’s inner courtyards, where the positioning of the Verruca slate rock is at once protected by its situation in the museum grounds and exposed to all weather conditions.