Tony Cragg — Accurate Figure
Past: April 25 → June 15, 2013Tony Cragg à la galerie Ropac Le sculpteur contemporain britannique Tony Cragg, qui a fait de l'Allemagne son pays d'adoption est invité par la galerie Thaddaeus... Critique
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris is holding a comprehensive solo exhibition of new sculptures by Tony Cragg, one of the most distinguished contemporary sculptors. The exhibition will feature 15 new sculptures of steel, bronze, wood and stone.
Cragg’s sculptural œuvre was originally motivated by his encounter with English Land Art and Performance, and is still distinguished by an immense wealth of surprising formal inventions and combinations. Cragg sees himself as a materialist, constantly seeking to explore and expand new materials. Stacking, layering and heaping have always been strategies in which he takes diverse waste material and everyday objects, and gives them an unexpected interpretation. Here, it is primarily steel, bronze and wood that he uses for his almost geologically layered arrangements.
In recent years, heads and faces have been appearing like leitmotivs in Cragg’s work. A morphing circular movement shapes the rhythm of the sculptures. Overlapping, layering and convolution give rise to body landscapes forming positives and negatives, asserting a form and at the same time mapping out their vacant spaces. Cragg develops his forms from “artistic sediments that appear to arise from different eras” (Eva Maria Stadler, 2008). Recurring forms are stacked into surrealistic totem-like pillars. The horizontal extension of the biomorphic form is reminiscent of futurist Italian speed fanatics like Umberto Boccioni and Giacomo Balla, while the verticality of his pillar-like sculptures brings to mind Constantin Brancusi, who similarly arrived at a reduction of the natural form through his abstract formal language. Nature with all its structures, from micro to macro, has been the dominant theme of Tony Cragg’s works over the past ten years.
Tony Cragg’s distinguishing feature is his primary concern to find new, unprecedented forms that amaze the viewer by their unusual biomorphic and technoid references. A very apt remark which was made in 1911 by the Cubist sculptor Raymond Duchamp-Villon might well have come from Tony Cragg:
“The sole purpose of the arts is neither description nor imitation, but the creation of unknown beings from elements which are always present but not apparent”.
Tony Cragg was born in Liverpool in 1949 and has lived in Wuppertal since 1977. He began his studies at the Gloucestershire College of Art and Design, before changing his course to the Royal College of Art in London in 1973. Important institutions have been presenting Tony Cragg’s works in solo exhibitions since the 1980s.
Opening Thursday, April 25, 2013 6:30 PM → 8:30 PM