Tony Cragg – Sculpture
24 Feb—13 Apr 2024

Tony Cragg – Sculpture

24 Feb—13 Apr 2024
Buchmann Galerie
Press release

The Buchmann Galerie is pleased to announce the exhibition Sculpture by Tony Cragg, featuring four large-format sculptures from the artist’s key series of works from recent years: Runner, It is, it isn’t, Early Forms and Lost in Thought.

 
In making apparent how clearly the individual series of works by the British sculptor differ from one another, these four exemplary sculptures thereby reveal the artist’s impressive sculptural diversity. With their strong physical presence, the sculptures bring the exhibition space to life, speaking directly to the viewer on both an emotional and physical level. Through the presentation of these large-format works, Cragg’s complex sculptural investigations into the relationship between body, material, object and space can also thus be experienced physically.
 

The work Runner (2017) from the series of the same name demonstrates a significant exploration by the artist in his current practice. Depicting movement in a static material such as stone, wood or bronze has been considered challenging in sculpture since antiquity. In modern times, a thread runs from Michelangelo via Bernini to the experimental works of early modernism; with Futurism, for example, Boccioni attempted to depict simultaneous movement in sculpture. The works from the Runner series examine the perception of temporality in a contemporary sense; here, Cragg combines both spatial and temporal elements to form a new figuration. With its peculiarly contradictory and opposing lines of movement, the large wooden sculpture Runner reveals the characteristic “back and forth” to express the flux of these works. Cragg resolves the inherent contradiction of trying to depict movement in a static material by evoking a dynamic of the inner tensions, potentials and processes of the material.

 
The works from the Lost in Thought series hold a special place in the artist’s oeuvre. Here, psychology meets form: the complex relationships between inside and outside that appear in the sculpture A Head, I Thought (2011) refer to themes such as repression and its relationship to the unconscious. The emergence and concealment of forms and fragments inherent in the work, as well as the mention of a head in the title, present a multitude of associations for the viewer, including how form influences our experience.
 

The sculpture It is, It isn’t (2016) demonstrates another aspect of the distinctive genesis of form that is so characteristic of Tony Cragg’s work: by bundling and superimposing a series of elliptical columns from the series Elliptical Columns, the artist creates a dramatic form that contradicts the geometrically comprehensible and rational structure of the sculpture.

 
Double Take (2014) is an impressive sculpture from the Early Forms series, which Cragg began in the mid-1980s. The works in this series are based on the principle of combining two or more objects – usually primary everyday objects such as bowls or vessels – to create one hybrid form. The forms of Double Take were derived from commercially available plastic containers, a clear reference to Cragg’s earlier interest in manufactured forms.

 
The four works in the exhibition also allow conclusions to be drawn about Tony Cragg’s entirely contemporary conception of content, which arises from his exploration of organic life forms and microbiological structures as well as from his work with everyday materials and modern technology.

 
Some of the works have already been presented in the artist’s museum exhibitions. This is the first time they have been shown together in this combination.

 
The Buchmann Gallery has represented Tony Cragg since 1983; this is the gallery’s 27th solo exhibition with the artist. The Buchmann Gallery also represents Tony Cragg’s drawing archive.

Tony Cragg

Born 1949 in Liverpool. Lives and works in Wuppertal, Germany.

Education
2009 - 2013 Director of Kunstakademie Düsseldorf
2002 Professorship for sculpture at UdK Universität der Künste, Berlin 
Member of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin
1994 Member of the Royal Academy, London
1979 Professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf
1973 - 1977 Royal College of Art
1968 - 1972 Gloucestershire College of Art and Design, Cheltenham und Wimbledon School of Art
1966 – 1968 Lab Technician at the National Rubber Producers Research Association
Grants and Awards
2017

Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award, International Sculpture Center

2016

Knight Bachelor of the British Empire

2013

Chaire de Création Artistique, Collège de France

Rheinischer Kulturpreis, Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Rheinland

2012 Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany 1st Class
Artist's Medal of Honor of the Hermitage, Russia
2009 Honorary doctor of the Royal College of Arts
2007 Praemium Imperiale for Sculpture, The Japan Art Foundation
2005 1st Prize for Best Sculpture, 2. Biennale Beijing
2002 Commander of the Order of the British Empire
2001 Honorary Fellowship John Moores University, Liverpool
Shakespeare-Prize
1992 Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres
1989 Von-der-Heydt-Prize, Wuppertal  
1988 Turner Prize
British
 Representative at the 43rd Venice Biennale

Solo Exhibitions

2024
2023
2021
2019
2018
2017
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990
1989
1988
1987
1986
1985
1984
1983
1982
1981
1980
1979

Group Exhibitions

2023
2018
2017
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990
1989
1988
1987
1986
1985
1984
1983
1982
1981
1980
1979
1978
1977
1976
1975