“People say there’s a great deal of variety in my work, but I’m not so sure that’s true…
It’s like making a complete landscape with all the parts in it:
there’s the urban world, architecture and so on, there’s the organic world,
there’s the atmosphere, and there’s the geological structure”
Tony Cragg's work focuses on the multiple relationships between human beings and their environment. Using a wide selection of materials and sculptural techniques, the artist offers a thematic interpretation of the complex connection between figure, object and landscape, which for Cragg includes geological and microbiological systems as well as urban and industrial contexts. In the 1970s Cragg began collecting objects he found in his environment, sorting them and often relating them to his own body. In the 1980s Cragg's works alluded to everyday objects without giving them a mimetic representation, and in recent years his sculptures have taken the form of shapes that allude to objects in an increasingly abstract way and to the body in a more direct way.
Tony Cragg (Liverpool, UK, 1949) lives and works in Wuppertal, Germany, since 1977, where he started the Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden, the foundation that bears his name in 2008. He graduated from the Wimbledon School of Art, London, UK (1973) and received a Master of Arts from the Royal College of Art, London, UK (1977). Recent solo exhibitions include: Boboli Gardens, Florence, Italy, 2019; Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK (2017); National Museum of Havana, Cuba (2017); MUDAM Luxembourg, Luxembourg (2017); Ludwig Museum, Koblenz, Germany (2017); Wroclaw Contemporary Art Museum, Wroclaw, Poland (2017); The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia (2016); Von der Heydt Museum, Wuppertal, Germany (2016); Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece (2015); Gothenburg International Sculpture Exhibition, Gothenburg, Sweden (2015). In 1988 he represented Britain at the 43rd Venice Biennale and in the same year was awarded the Turner Prize by the Tate Gallery, London, UK. Elected Royal Academician in 1994 by the Royal Academy of Arts, he received the Praemium Imperiale for Sculpture from the Japan Art Association in 2007. He was appointed CBE in 2002 and Knight's Bachelor in 2016.