Renowned Art
Tony Cragg



Tony Cragg (born 1949) is a British-born sculptor.

Cragg was born in Liverpool; following a period of work as a laboratory technician he first studied art on the foundation course at the Gloucestershire College of Art and Design, Cheltenham and then at the Wimbledon School of Art 1969-1973. During this period he was taught by Roger Ackling, who introduced him to the sculptors Richard Long and Bill Woodrow. He completed his studies at Royal College of Art 1973-1977 where he was a contemporary of Richard Wentworth. He left Britain in 1977 and moved to Wuppertal in Germany, where he has lived and worked since. Cragg also has a studio on the island Tjörn on the Swedish west coast. The Nordic Watercolour Museum at Tjörn had a Tony Cragg exhibition in 2007.

Many of Cragg's early works are made from found materials and discarded construction materials and disposed household materials. This gave him a large range of mainly man-made materials and automatically provided him with the thematic concerns that became characteristic of his work up to the present. During the 1970s he made sculptures using simple making techniques like stacking, splitting and crushing. In 1978 he collected discarded plastic fragments and arranged them into colour categories. The first work of this kind was called 'New Stones-Newtons Tones'. Shortly after this he made works on the floor and wall reliefs which created images. One of these works , Britain Seen From the North (1981), features the shape of the island of Great Britain on the wall, oriented so that north is to the left. To the left of the island is the figure of a man, apparently Cragg himself, looking at the country from the position of an outsider. The whole piece is made from broken pieces of found rubbish and is often interpreted as commenting on the economic difficulties Britain was going through at that time which had a particular effect on the north.

Terris Novalis in Consett is his only large-scale permanent public artwork in the UK. Consisting of two massively enlarged stainless steel engineering instruments, its material acknowledges the former importance of steel to the town. It was installed in 1997 on the Sea to Sea cycle route between Whitehaven and Sunderland.

Later, Cragg used more traditional materials, such as wood, bronze and marble, often making simple forms from them, such as test tubes. Cragg won the Turner Prize in 1988, and in 2007 the Praemium Imperiale.


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