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Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber Ocula Report Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber 15 Mar 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

In Meiro Koizumi's three-channel video installation, The Angels of Testimony (2019), the central frame features an interview with Hajime Kondo about his time as a solider of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The conversation centres on war crimes perpetrated in China, including the beheading of Chinese prisoners for...

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Diana Campbell Betancourt Ocula Conversation Diana Campbell Betancourt

Diana Campbell Betancourt is a curator working predominantly across South and Southeast Asia. Since 2013 she has been the founding artistic director of the Samdani Art Foundation and chief curator of the Dhaka Art Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a transnational art event that has grown in size and scale ever since its first edition in 2012. Backed by...

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Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art Ocula Report Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art 7 Mar 2019 : Mike Pinnington for Ocula

China, home to 802 million internet users, is subject to sophisticated online censorship. This shrouded state of affairs, unsurprisingly perhaps, serves to reinforce stereotypes around conformity elsewhere. Any realm, digital or otherwise, subject to such strict scrutiny must necessarily be bland and uncritical, right? I was mulling over such...

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Tony Cragg

b. 1949, United Kingdom

An acclaimed sculptor of his generation, British artist Tony Cragg is known for the stacked appearance of his sculptures and his use of unconventional materials such as plastic and household items. Increasingly working with more traditional mediums such as marble, bronze and steel over recent years, Cragg's sculptures are characterised by the artist's ongoing concern with the relationship between the natural and the manmade.

Cragg garnered attention in the 1980s for his use of found everyday objects and detritus, commonly arranged on the floor or fixed to a wall. For New Stones, Newton's Tones (1978), the artist arranged found plastic objects such as combs, toy shovels, bottle caps and spoons according to colour in a rectangular format on the floor. Similarly using manmade objects to depict natural forms in works such as Leaf (1981) or Bird (1980), Cragg pointed to the impact of human intervention on the world at large.

Working with more traditional media such as bronze for the series 'Early Forms' and 'Rational Beings', Cragg explored sculpture's potential to transform the familiar into something new and unusual. 'Early Forms', begun in the late 1980s, is inspired by one of the earliest manmade objects: the vessel. For the series, Cragg distorts and twists diverse forms of vessels to create new objects. In Taurus (1999), for example, the original vessel is unrecognisable in the monumental bronze sculpture whose smooth planes and curvature instead recall oysters or the waves of the sea. By contrast, the later series 'Rational Beings' is concerned with the transformation of the human figure into abstraction. For A Head, I Thought (2011), Cragg contorted a facial profile until it became a new form of abstracted columns and slabs.

Throughout his career, Cragg has cultivated a tiered appearance to his sculptures. The verticality of his recent works is often reminiscent of Brancusi's columns, while the horizontal ellipses that protrude from the columns recall the multi-faceted figures of Umberto Boccioni and Giacomo Balla. Points of View (2013), a set of three seven-metre columns, seems to change shape when viewed from different angles. Unlike the artist's earlier works such as Minster (1990)—which consists of four sculptural forms but is made of circular metal machine parts amassed into towers—Cragg's recent sculptures are often in one solid piece yet retain a 'stacked' illusion through their horizontal extensions.

Cragg completed his studies at the Wimbledon College of Arts, London (1973) and the Royal College of Art, London (1977). A regular presence in international galleries and museums since the late 1970s, his works have been shown at the Isfahan Museum of Contemporary Art (2018); The State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg (2016); Benaki Museum, Athens (2015); National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung (2013); and Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (2011). In 2017 A Rare Category of Objects—a major retrospective of his long career—was organised by Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Cragg has been recognised for his prolific practice from the early days of his career. He was the winner of the Turner Prize in 1988 and in that same year represented Britain at the 43rd Venice Biennale. In 2002 he was made a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for service to the visual arts and Anglo-German relations. Cragg has also worked as an educator, teaching at Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris (1999-2009) and at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (2009-). Cragg has been based in Wuppertal since 1977.

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2018
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Featured Artworks

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Untitled by Tony Cragg contemporary artwork Tony CraggUntitled, 2018 Stainless steel
74.9 x 26 x 26 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery
Untitled (Stack) by Tony Cragg contemporary artwork Tony CraggUntitled (Stack), 2018 Bronze
80 x 54 x 49 cm
Buchmann Galerie
Conversion by Tony Cragg contemporary artwork Tony CraggConversion, 2017 Lacquered aluminium
200 x 192 x 105 cm
Buchmann Galerie
Willow by Tony Cragg contemporary artwork Tony CraggWillow, 2017 Wood
140 x 77 x 81 cm
Buchmann Galerie
Untitled (Incarnation) by Tony Cragg contemporary artwork Tony CraggUntitled (Incarnation), 2018 Bronze
140 x 107 x 67 cm
Buchmann Galerie
Untitled (Split Figure) by Tony Cragg contemporary artwork Tony CraggUntitled (Split Figure), 2018 Bronze
85 x 52 x 49 cm
Buchmann Galerie
Untitled (Hedge Berlin II) by Tony Cragg contemporary artwork Tony CraggUntitled (Hedge Berlin II), 2018 Solid steel
105 x 100 x 89 cm
Buchmann Galerie

Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Tony Cragg, Tony Cragg at Buchmann Galerie, Berlin
Closed
17 November 2018–16 February 2019 Tony Cragg Tony Cragg Buchmann Galerie, Buchmann Box, Berlin
Contemporary art exhibition, Tony Cragg, Tony Cragg at Buchmann Galerie, Berlin
Closed
17 November 2018–16 February 2019 Tony Cragg Tony Cragg Buchmann Galerie, Buchmann Galerie, Berlin
Contemporary art exhibition, Tony Cragg, Tony Cragg at Wooson Gallery, Daegu
Closed
8 November 2018–2 February 2019 Tony Cragg Tony Cragg Wooson Gallery, Daegu

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Auckland Art Exhibitions: The Lowdown Ocula Report Auckland Art Exhibitions: The Lowdown 22 May 2018 : Anna Dickie for Ocula

The time is ripe to galvanise New Zealand's public to more fully support its visual arts. With New Zealand-born artists like Simon Denny, Michael Stevenson and Francis Upritchard continuing to gain international acclaim, and a Turner Prize nominee in Luke Willis Thompson, the international art world is beginning to take notice of this small...

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All Hail Xu Zhen: Report From Art021, Shanghai 2014 Ocula Report All Hail Xu Zhen: Report From Art021, Shanghai 2014 1 Dec 2014 : Sam Gaskin for Ocula

ART021 takes its name from the Shanghai dialing code. The numbers serve as a synonym for the city, but only for people calling from within China—from outside the country, you’d call +8621. Still, 021 make more sense for this fair. Founded in 2013 by local PR director Bao Yifeng and former gallery director Kelly Ying, ART021’s...

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In Related Press

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Ai Weiwei, Anish Kapoor and Marina Abramović lead major new exhibition Everything At Once at Store Studios Related Press Ai Weiwei, Anish Kapoor and Marina Abramović lead major new exhibition Everything At Once at Store Studios The Vinyl Factory : 8 September 2017

This October, Store Studios will host Everything At Once, an extensive off-site exhibition featuring 24 artists currently shown at Lisson Gallery in celebration of its 50th anniversary.

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Tony Cragg’s constantly evolving challenge to mass design Related Press Tony Cragg’s constantly evolving challenge to mass design Apollo Magazine : 19 March 2017

Tony Cragg left the UK for Germany in 1977, the same year Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) was founded on a 500-acre country estate near Wakefield. In the 40 years since, Cragg has become a truly international artist, and YSP an internationally renowned arts venue. Now the two have mounted an extensive exhibition of new and recent works, artfully...

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Tony Cragg walks us around his major survey at Yorkshire Sculpture Park Related Press Tony Cragg walks us around his major survey at Yorkshire Sculpture Park Wallpaper* : 6 March 2017

Tony Cragg began collecting fossils aged 11. His interest in strata, prehistoric forms and found matter have continued to influence his artistic practice as an adult.Over a long and industrious career, Cragg's morphing, geological figures have earned him accolades as far reaching as a Turner Prize in 1988 and a prestigious place at the Venice...

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What exhibitions to see during Frieze Related Press What exhibitions to see during Frieze Whitewall : 4 October 2016

While in London next week for Frieze, don’t forget to get out of the fair tents and explore the many exhibitions on view at galleries and museums around town. Here is a non-exhaustive but selective list that should keep you busy.William Eggleston Portraits at The National Portrait Gallery in Covent GardenJuly 21-October 23This show...

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