Tony Cragg
Tony Cragg
17 Nov 2018—16 Feb 2019

Tony Cragg

17 Nov 2018—16 Feb 2019
Buchmann Galerie
Press release

Buchmann Galerie is delighted to announce an exhibition featuring new sculptures and drawings by Tony Cragg.

In the front exhibition space, a monumental sculpture from the new work group Skulls, measuring 240 x 227 x 172 cm, makes a powerful impression with its complex interlock of internal and external spaces. The entire volume of this work constructed from layered plywood is permeated by innumerable close-lying and in some cases interlaced, tube-like forms. They open up a surprising insight into the sculpture's internal depths. Resembling foam and yet conveying solidity, the work evokes organic forms, the innermost part of which generates the exterior. Tony Cragg explains: "There exists a real psychological pressure and need for the viewer to see beyond the surface and that all the forms we see provide a connection to the greater and more fundamental external and internal forces that make them."

The group of work Hedges, inspired by Tony Cragg's childhood memories of landscapes with hedges in his English home region, comprises filigree leaf- and blade-like forms. The organic configurations rouse associations with a hedge or tumbleweed. The red-brown, matt shimmering patina of the steel contributes to these natural associations. However, looking more closely, it becomes clear that the forms, in their buoyancy and arrangement, are artificial – they are man-made. Like a mobile, the formations seem to float in a perfectly balanced state, as if their shape could alter at any given moment.

Conversion, made from aluminium, adopts the leaf-like structure of the Hedges but transposes it into a floral setting, which in turn seems to explode the limitations of abstraction with its camouflage finish.

Tony Cragg is an artist who has always utilized a study of natural science in order to challenge nature. The absolute loyalty to his materials that Peter Schjeldahl attests to the artist (1) meets with a will to form in Tony Cragg's work that is not exhausted in the work itself but wrestles with nature. "I am an extreme materialist" the artist maintains repeatedly. And Peter Schjeldahl adds that it is from this alone that the fantastic spectrum of material and formal freedom can emerge, which characterizes this great sculptor's extensive oeuvre.

In the Buchmann Box we are showing a collection of recent sculptures and drawings, which exemplify the artist's work as it continues to unfold in an almost encyclopaedic manner. The sculptor's outstanding significance was recognized impressively in 2007, when he received the Praemium Imperiale for Sculpture.

In the last two years several important solo presentations of Tony Cragg's work have taken place, including in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Mudam Luxembourg, and the comprehensive retrospective "Parts of the World" in the Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal, in 2016. A Rare Category of Objects in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK, was one of the most extensive outdoor exhibitions of his art seen to date. A five volume monographic publication examining Tony Cragg's work is currently being issued by the Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne. Besides a volume about his drawings and prints, it comprises three volumes on his sculptures since the late 1960s, as well as a volume of the artist's own writing. Three of these volumes are already available.

1.) Peter Schjeldahl, Cragg's Big Bang, in: Anthony Cragg, Parts of the World, Cologne 2016, pp. 155-166

Tony Cragg

Tony Cragg

Born 1949 in Liverpool. Lives and works in Wuppertal.

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

2021
2019
2018
2017
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
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2002
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1999
1998
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1979

Group Exhibitions

2018
2017
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
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1975