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  • Writer's pictureDimitri Ozerkov

Tony Cragg. Sculptures and Drawings

When:   02.03.2016 - 07.05.2016

Where:  The General Staff Building, Hermitage, Saint-Petersburg, Russia


Tony Cragg (1949) is one of the most famous contemporary sculptors. Born in Liverpool, in 1977 he moved to Wuppertal, Germany, where he currently lives and works. In 2008, Tony Cragg received from the City of Wuppertal a park that he dedicated to exhibiting sculpture. Tony Cragg began rising as an artist in the 1970s with a focus on minimalist and conceptual art. His early works were monumental compositions often made of found objects. Later the artist turned to the exploration of form and surface, experimenting with miscellaneous materials ranging from the traditional wood, stone and metal to those less common in sculpture such as kevlar, rubber, and plastic. “My initial interest in making images and objects was, and still remains, the creation of objects that don’t exist in the natural or the functional world, which can reflect and transmit information and feelings about the world and my own existence”, – he wrote in 1985. In his works Tony Cragg embarks on an intricate exploration of the existence of sculpture – beyond design, vicissitudes of the museum world and art market. He is engaged with sculpture beyond its aptitude, applicability, practicality or usefulness. What he looks for is the infinite amount of logical variations of its forms. The artist cannot pause to marvel at the human ability to contemplate its existence. In his understanding the sculpture represents a response to this reflection. Artist's drawings have a different, more subordinate status. They prepare for the birth of sculpture, set up bearings for it, and define its existential justification on a more formal level. Drawings are inseparable from sculptures and live within sculptural figurative laws. These abstract forms on paper potentially will transform into real and thus materialized objects. From 1979 to 2016, Tony Cragg had more than 250 solo exhibitions in major museums and galleries in Europe, USA, Asia and Australia, including the Louvre (Paris), Tate Gallery (Liverpool), National Museum of Modern Art (Seoul), Museum of Modern Art the MACRO (Rome), and others. The exhibition that was specifically designed by the artist for the State Hermitage Museum features 55 sculptures and drawings from last two decades, including iconic Minster and Complete Omnivore as well as new glass works. The summer of 2012 the work of Tony Cragg "Luke" was shown in the State Hermitage in the framework of the “Sculpture in the courtyard”. The curator of the exhibition is Dr. Dimiti Ozerkov, a head of the Contemporary art department of the State Hermitage museum and the Hermitage 20/21 project.  Nadezda Sinyutina from the Contemporary art department is an assistant curator.

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