Tony Cragg’s work is known for his exploration of different materials, including found objects and raw matter of various kinds and composing them in an ordered system. Cragg’s method of reassessing, revisiting, exploring and composing aesthetics seeks to make evident the vast array of objects and images that surround us, but with which he feels modern man has only a superficial relationship, based on function alone. In order to enhance our imaginative and emotional relationship with the world at large, Cragg proposed beginning with physical matter as the fundamental basis of experience; constantly pushing to find new relations between people and the material world. He works with stone, wood, glass, stainless steel, aluminium, cast bronze and cast iron, and found objects, from plastic consumer goods to rubbish from the streets. His arrangements of objects on floors or walls that hebegan making in the 1980s blur the line between manmade and natural landscapes: they create an outline of something familiar, where the contributing parts relate to the whole. The ways in which I can relate my own contemporary practice to Cragg’s is through the dissociation our society has with the man-made objects surrounding us: this contradictory theory of the infinity being more important than the singular. I also believe that through his apparent compulsion to collect is the need to organise and re-evaluate the value of the objects he’s find. With all forms of collecting, they need to be organised and displayed appropriately in art which is a factor I can relate to in Cragg’s work.
Cragg, T. (1991) Tony Cragg : sculpture 1975-1990. London: Thames & Hudson.
Celant, G. (1994) Tony Cragg. Milano: Edizione Charta.