Last week I took the opportunity of visiting the Yorkshire Sculpture Park to view a new exhibition of sculptures by the British artist Tony Cragg, who I have to confess I had never heard of.
Tony Cragg is a British sculptor known for his exploration of unconventional materials. With his use of plastic, fiberglass, bronze, Kevlar, and other materials, Cragg has set himself apart from many of his contemporaries. Characterized by their rippled figurative structures, Craggs’ sculptures embody a paused dynamism as halted mid-movement, resulting in swirling abstractions.
Born Anthony Douglas Cragg on April 9, 1949 in Liverpool, England, Cragg moved to Wuppertal, Germany in the 1970s, where he currently lives and works. A former instructor at the famed Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Cragg was awarded the Turner Prize in 1988 and a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2002.
The YSP blurb about the exhibition states “A ‘radical materialist’, Cragg defines sculpture as a ‘rare category of objects’, and takes a taxonomic approach to his own practice, something which is reflected in the exhibition. The wit and will to analyse the properties of all of the planet’s resources and use them to make new things is unique to human beings, along with the intuition to sort, order and categorise the things that exist and that we bring into existence.”
Having read numerous pieces of “intellectual bullshit” in the past about artists and their ideas I went along not knowing what to expect, but fearing that it might be something along the lines of Tracy Emins “unmade bed” I tried to stay open-minded.
Well, I have to say that I came away from the exhibition astounded at what I had just seen. Cragg has created objects of exquisite beauty, many of abstract conception but simply breathtaking in their naturalness. I walked around the sculptures, both on display in the open and also in the “underground” gallery, mesmerised by the creativity of the artist.
The exhibition is on until 3 September 2017, visit it at all costs as it is simply the finest exhibition I have seen in years at the YSP. Below are some photographs of the various works of art on display.
Photographs (c) Kundadukish 2017