La Longue Marche (1974) stands out for its monumentality. It works through the system of fourteen colours of the chromatic prism in a suite of ten square paintings, all with sides of two metres. From one canvas to the next, the prismatic meshes unfold in fluid, sinuous sequences exploring the visual effects of superposition, torsion, braiding and imbrication. Because of the way these pieces are made, the organization of the pictorial field is quite free of hierarchy: there is no dominant element, no centre generating the forms. Thanks to this all-per structure in which there is no privileged perceptual centre, the artists actively engages the viewer s gaze.
From the gouaches of 1959 to his most recent works, via the Longue Marche of 1974, the development of Julio Le Parc s work has been driven by a cyclical conception of art that makes any kind of chronological approach unsatisfying. The fluid, continuous linkage of forms in La Longue Marche suggests the idea of a dynamic progression. The work could continue ad infinitum, in space and in time. Free of their static traditional support, the colours can unfurl their riches in a manner celebrated by Baudelaire in a chapter of his Salon De 1846: "This great symphony of today, which is the eternally renewed variation of the symphony of yesterday, this succession of melodies, where the variety comes always from the infinites, this complex hymn is called colour".
An important, emblematic work, La Longue Marche offers infinite variations that shrug off any strict interpretations. Its meaning transcends the historical and political dimension in which one might all too hastily be tempted to place it. As Le Parc makes clear, this work is a metaphor that can apply to many different fields. It perfectly embodies the artist cyclical creative mode, but also sums up the long path of his artistic career. Looking back over his past, Le Parc reveals, with a touch of modesty, that "my long march began when I was a child in a tiny village. I used to go out to the edge of the village, to the desert. I always looked out to there, the sun was rising, that is to say, to the east. I looked to the other side, where I could imagine the sea being. I had no idea that one day I would travel a thousand one hundred kilometres to reach the sea, to cross the Atlantic, to come to France and develop things there. That is my long march. But the end of this long march is not when I die. This long march will continue. It is then, a metaphor for the human condition, but a happy metaphor".
- Julio Le Parc ‘’Form into Action’’, Instituto Tomie Ohtake Museum, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2017-2018) - "Julio Le Parc, Form into Action", Perez Art Museum, Miami, USA (2016-2017) - “Variations autour de la Longue Marche”, Fondation Amelia Lacroze Fortabat, Buenos Aires, Argentine (2016) - "Variations autour de La Longue Marche”, Museum der Kulturen Basel, Switzerland (2015) - "Julio Le Parc", Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2013) - "Experiencias, Retrospectiva", Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile (1989) - "Julio Le Parc: experiencias, 30 anos 1958 1988", 5A Avenida, Mendoza, Argentina (1989) - "Julio Le Parc: experiencias, 30 años 1958-1988", Salas Nacionales de Exposición. Palais de Glace, Buenos Aires, Argentina, (1988) - “Obras 1959-1981”, Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela (1981) - "Le Parc", Galería Rayuela, Madrid, Spain (1976) - “La Longue Marche”, Museo de Arte Moderno Bogotá, Colombie (1976) - "La Longue Marche", Galerie Denise René, Paris, France, (1975) - "Couleur 74", Ondes, Reliefs Virtuels, La Longue Marche, Galerie Denise René, Paris, France (1974)
Julio Le Parc : Form into action, Prestel, 2016
Julio Le Parc : Variations autour de la longue marche, Actes Sud, 2015
Julio Le Parc, Flammarion, 2013
Julio Le Parc, Severgnini, 1995
Julio Le Parc, Experiencias, 30 anos 1958-1988, Direccion Nacional de Artes, 1988