Richard Long gets down to earth at 101 Spring Street

British sculptor invited to create mud-based work in Donald Judd’s restored SoHo home and studio


Donald Judd once described the British sculptor Richard Long as “the best artist in Europe” and “a far better artist than Bacon or Henry Moore”. Now the Judd Foundation has invited Long to create new work at 101 Spring Street, the US artist’s former home and studio in New York.

Long will create two monumental terracotta works on the ground floor by applying mud directly to the walls, which are nearly 60 feet long (1 October-17 December). The British artist is known for making work with natural materials and transforming landscape into sculpture simply by walking for days and leaving footprints behind. Judd and Long met in 1988 at an exhibition in Reykjavik, Iceland. The US artist bought the volcanic rock sculpture Long created for the exhibition, Sea Lava Circles (1988), and permanently installed it on a former tennis court at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas.

Asked if he is nervous about letting Long loose in the foundation’s painstakingly restored space in Spring Street to create such a potentially messy work, Flavin Judd, the artist’s son and co-president of the Judd Foundation, who is organising the installation, said: “We’re all for flinging mud.”