George Long received his BFA from the Atlanta College of Art in 1995 and currently lives and works in Atlanta. His first solo exhibition was at Marcia Wood Gallery in Atlanta in 2004, where he introduced the widely acclaimed 8 x 8 work. Long’s solo and 2 person exhibitions include Flux Projects, Atlanta, the Zuckerman Museum, Kennesaw State University, Space Eight, St Augustine, FL, Gallery One Twelve, Atlanta, Tempus Projects, St. Augustine, FL,Cosms, Dashboard Coop, Atlanta, Columbus Museum, Columbus, GA, the University of West Georgia, Carrolton, GA, the Madison County Art Council, Marshall N.C. among others. Group exhibitions have included the International Kunstler Kolonie Exhibition,Nuremburg, (and residency), The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (2007 Biennial and 2012 "Day Job: Georgia), the Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art, Jacksonville, FL, the Zuckerman Museum, Kennesaw, GA, Art on the Beltline, Atlanta, GA, Paco Sas Artes, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Tempus Projects, Tampa, FL, Dalton Gallery, Agnes Scott College, Georgia, and Brenau University, Georgia. In 2010 he received an NEA grant for public sculpture. Sculpture exhibitions include theAnn Marie Sculpture Center in Solomon Island, Maryland, North River Park, Charleston, SC, and the Chattahooche Nature Center, Roswell, GA, Art in Freedom Park, Atlanta, and Bonaroo, Manchester, Ten. Long has collaborated with Spelman University choreographer T. Lang, New Orleans Airlift, Georgia Tech, Lucky Penny, I Fucking LXXX You Too and Sunday Southern Arts Revival.
George Long’s current series Omnium Gatherum originated in the 8 x 8 body of work introduced at Marcia Wood Gallery in 2004 in his first solo exhibition. The 8x8x8 inch cubes presented scraps of memories - ancestral farm tools, doilies, recipes, and current mundane yet metaphoric stuff of daily life and popular culture. Numbering in the hundreds the blocks of found wood and a broad range of mixed media, created a patchwork of free association. In his artistic career Long has created and been involved in a variety of personal and collaborative work including two-dimensional art, video, film, animation, sculpture, dance, theater sets and public art.
The through line of all Long’s work, beginning with 8 x 8, has been an exploration of the import and imperfection of memory for the human experience of time. In the direct continuity of iterations as seen in 8x8 to Piles to Sorts to Omnium Gatherum, and as the touchstone for all his projects and work - from the delicately nuanced drawings of Mimic, to action-packed delightful public animations - we see layers of information accumulated and degraded as imagery fades, shifts, repeats, overlaps, separates and blends. As Sarah Higgins notes in her essay A ritual of making (non)sense of things: George Long’s “Sorts” for Flux Projects, 2017: “The philosopher Henri Bergson described the perception of the present moment as an act of instant remembering. Therefore, memory of the past is a process of reconstructing a new, but degraded, version of what was only ever remembered in the first place. In this philosophy of memory, everything we can recall is a copy of a copy of a copy. If we can’t truly remember, then the perhaps the things we keep represent our hope for a more reliable vessel. Long seems to grapple with that possibility in Sorts. He seems to want to let the viewers, ahem, sort it out for themselves.”
The Omnium Gatherum works on paper and wood in the exhibition, 3 Sided Square, now shift from narrative imagery to that of enigmatic piles of geometric shapes. Omnium Gatherum is defined as a “miscellaneous collection (as of things or persons)”. Colorful blocks of circles within squares are collaged in a charming, playful, yet somewhat tenuous, pyramid-shaped pile that is loosely foregrounded against a notion of landscape - a weathered palimpsest of atmosphere the place- ness or nowhereness of which is open to interpretation. Employing the Japanese spiritual art of ensõ, Long draws each unique circle in one fluid stroke. The ensõ symbolizes the universe and the beginning and end of all things. Through practicing the meditation of ensõ in the studio, George Long continues his contemplation of memory and time in his work.