Researching Others - Tony Cragg
Cragg (b, 1945-) had a background in science worked a s a technician in a rubber company. His early work used waster products to create 2D outlines of recognisable objects and beings tat were stacked, crushed and split, he won the turner prize with an exhibition of this body of work in 1988. He moved on from the 2D works into 3 dimensional works exploring materials.
In 1981 Cragg wrote about his own work
‘Simple processes. With materials no one else wants. Ideas that interest me. Images that interest me. Made where people let me make them. The rooms, the walls, the floors. The physical framework. Emotional responses. Intellectual responses. Elegant works. Humorous works. Beautiful works. Decorative works. Ugly works. Works in which I learned from the materials. Works like pictures. Meanings I intended. Meanings that surprised me. Personal references. Cultural references. No references.’
His later works are machine made, they consists of manipulated familiar objects that border the familiar/unfamiliar territory that we had discussed in a tutorial a few weeks prior to my researching Cragg. These include vessels that have been manipulated, stretched beyond recognition like and were called the Early Forms an example of which is St Gallen and McCormack.
In 2000 he developed a new paint technology fixing paint to bronze and started making the works referred to as rational beings, these are manipulated tall sculptural pieces made out of bronze, wood, polystyrene etc. They are very familiar pieces and instantly recognisable as Cragg’s creations. Profiles of faces can be seen in them, often looking like they ave been windswept.
His use of technology is one that interests me, it enables complex forms to be fabricated and made me think about some of the forms I had been sketching in a CAD programme.