British sculptor (Anthony) Tony Cragg is one of the most acclaimed artists of his generation.
After a initial phase (the Seventies), during which he combined coloured fragments of city debris in innovative compositions between collage and sculpture, Tony Cragg gradually moved towards more majestic works in which minimalism became monumental, using huge blocks of wood, iron, bronze and glass fibre.
His main interest became “the creation of objects and images that don’t exist in the natural or functional world but that are able to reflect and transmit information and sensations about the world and [its] very existence” (Tony Cragg, 1985).
Fundamental is not only the choice of the element to be used in his creations, but also its actual working into forms that are able to develop and be transformed. In what is almost a scientific attitude, Cragg’s “manic” interest for the potential movement of bodies drives him to search for, study and reveal all the possible mutations of a primary structure. All of this takes place within a poetics of creation. Not “closed” forms but ‘openings’ in which the main idea is the relationship with space and between objects, material, and images.
Cragg’s sculptures are sensual, multilayered and, depending upon one’s perspective, newly- emerging “mental landscapes”, whose starting point are always the emotions – as a stimulus for generating momentum and activity
A self declared layman and “materialist”, Tony Cragg carries out an aesthetic-philosophical operation in which art has the task of revealing a profound physical and plastic spirituality, “as an alternative to looking at nature, and an alternative to looking at a dull-headed industrial utilitarian reality” (Tony Cragg, 2005)