Tony Cragg hails from Liverpool, where he was born in 1949. He studied at the Royal College of Art in London (1973-1977), among other places. By 1976, he had accepted a position as lecturer in Metz (France) and, from 1979 onwards, he taught at the Kunstakademie (Art Academy) in Dusseldorf, Germany. Tony Cragg was appointed Rector of the Dusseldorf Academy in 2009.
Cragg’s earlier works made use of found objects, all kinds of materials from all kinds of sources. He collected them while hiking in the woods and from waste dumps, thus achieving an intriguing combination of natural and artificial, man-made items. He would then apply them, for instance, to a wall so that they loosely filled in conspicuously shaped segments of the surface, marking it with many colours, sizes and forms. This allowed for a constant dialogue between the overall shape and the references and contrasts of each small fragment and object. Additionally, his formal range was broad, vacillating from the filigree to the crude, from the exquisite to the grotesque.
Cragg also made references to the human form, in both his wall reliefs and his sculptures, which, for some time, consisted of multi-layered monochrome material. In this series, he also created a number of works accentuating a trace of movement in space, as if some moving object had left a void, which had then been filled and condensed into a tangible shape. Later works seem to exploit the aesthetic qualities of irregularly twisted forms, standing in perfect equilibrium on the floor but conveying the impression of virtual movement and dynamic instability.
Ein Hauch von Eden, 27.11.2010- 31.01.2011, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie Ein Hauch von Eden
"Das andere Sehen", Jan. 26, 2018 - June 29, 2018, Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung, Munich
Tony Cragg: Sculptures and Watercolors, Aug. 27, 2017 - Oct. 22, 2017, Ludwig Museum Koblenz
Tony Cragg: Unnatural Selection, Dec. 02, 2016 - March 27, 2017, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt
Tony Cragg - Retrospektive - "Parts of the World", until August 14, 2016, Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal
"40 Jahre - 40 Künstler - 40 Werke", until March 2016, Kunstmuseum Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen, Magdeburg
Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden - Cragg Foundation, Dauerausstellung, Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden, Wuppertal
Skulpturenpark, until Dezember 2014, Stiftung Sculpture at Schoenthal, Kloster Schoenthal/Langenbruck
Spuren der Moderne: 20 Jahre Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, until Oct. 19, 2014, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg
Tony Cragg, April 9, 2014 - Aug. 31, 2014, Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku
Auf der Spur der Erfindung - Bildhauer zeichnen, until Aug. 10, 2014, Akademie-Galerie, Die Neue Sammlung, Düsseldorf
Macht. Wahn. Vision. Rapunzel & Co. Von Türmen und Menschen in der Kunst, until Aug. 31, 2014, Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck, Remagen
lens-based sculpture. Die Veränderung der Skulptur durch die Fotografie, Jan. 24, 2014 - April 21, 2014, Akademie der Künste, Berlin
Kunst. Bewegt. 04. Arman, Christo, Tony Cragg..., until March 15, 2014, Museum Schloss Moyland
Ruhe-Störung - Streifzüge durch die Welten der Collage, until Jan. 26, 2014, MARTa Herford
Franz Xaver Messerschmidt and Modernity, until Feb. 24, 2013, Getty Museum, Los Angeles
R/Evolution auf Papier, until Jan. 20, 2013, Alte Pinakothek, Munich
Tony Cragg at Exhibition Road, Aug. 25, 2012 - Nov. 25, 2012, Exhibition Road, London
Tony Cragg: Seeing Things , Sep. 10, 2011 – Jan. 8, 2012, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, USA
Tony Cragg: Sculptures and Drawings, July 30, 2011 – Nov. 6, 2011, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Great Britain