NEW YORK, NY.- Marian Goodman Gallery
New York is presenting an exhibition of new sculpture by Tony Cragg on view through Saturday, October 14th, 2017.
One of the worlds most distinguished contemporary sculptors, the past two years brought several important solo presentations of Craggs work to Europe including The Hermitage in St. Petersburg and a major career retrospective, Parts of the World at the Von der Heydt Museum in Germany, in 2016. A comprehensive exhibition was held at the Luxemburg Modern Art Museum, and A Rare Category of Objects, one of the most extensive outdoor exhibitions to date, was shown at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Yorkshire UK in 2017.
The gallery exhibition features the latest developments in Tony Craggs sculptural oeuvre during the period of 2015-2017 as Cragg continues his pursuit of giving expression to the intrinsic and dynamic relationship between ourselves and our material surroundings and the things in it. This new body of work reiterates his position as a visionary materialist whose depths of observation have provided boundless energy and a lifetime of experimentation in sculpture. Craggs focus is steadfastly on the expressive potential of the material world and the necessity of sculpture to depart from our everyday perception and venture beyond preconceived notions of an already occupied language of form and experience.
Throughout his career Cragg has drawn on both the natural world and industrial systems to create new forms and a new sculptural language. Craggs abiding interest in providing an alternative to the utilitarian sphere is in evidence in this exhibition, as he presents a visually compelling, vital and diverse new category of forms beyond the mediated nature populating our current reality.
The exhibition presents multiple departures in a new series of works. Turn of Events and Conversion (2017), two large scale painted aluminum works, a hybrid of organic and synthetic forms, proceed from a geometric base and articulate from the epicenter with vegetal forms assuming an arrangement of unrestrained volume. Works like Sail in white onyx and Versus Atlantis in wood (both from 2017) evolve from earlier works such as Versus (2011) in which the visual appearance of form and surface is revealed as the direct consequence of the interior structures, energy and geometries. Cragg states that there exists a real psychological pressure and need for the viewer to see beyond the surface and that all forms we see provide a connection to the greater and more fundamental external and internal forces that make them.
The Skull series, including Temple and Labyrinth (2016) are tubular works that show a different approach but have their origin in this same set of interests. The outer surfaces are cut away to display a cavernous internal structure that defines the overall form.
Runner (2017) in stainless steel suggest a restless backwards and forwards pivot around a pair of shifting axes with ever-changing viewpoints. The latest version of Craggs series of Manipulations brings us full circle to the sculptor, the maker himself, for whom the human hand is the cutting edge of material development.
Cragg exhibits for the first time in the US sculptures from a group of works he calls Hedges (2017) . Based on his childhood memory of a characteristic of the English countryside, Cragg reiterates in an entirely new manner the theme of the relationship between interior and exterior, the man made and natural, taking inspiration from a form found in nature to show the life beneath a surface and using sculptural means to recreate that life. This series is a good example of an outer skin hiding something that is alone with energy underneath- a curtain of little leaves
simultaneously a barrier and haven, not exactly a closed surface but difficult to judge in terms of depth, content and signs of life.