Art met the might of industry when a massive seven-tonne artwork was winched carefully into place at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park yesterday.
The magnificent 5m-high bronze, titled ‘Caldera’, will greet visitors to the site at West Bretton and is just one of the eye-catching pieces by sculptor Tony Cragg in what will be his largest-ever exhibition in the UK.
Opening on March 4, ‘A Rare Category of Objects’ will feature new sculptures, works on paper and pieces drawn from nearly five decades of Cragg’s life. They will pepper the landscape as well as featuring in the YSP’s Underground and Garden Galleries. Among the works coming to Yorkshire are ‘Minster’ (1990), ‘McCormack’ (2007), ‘Outspan’ (2008) and the previously unseen ‘Accurate Figure’, from 2011.
Peter Murray CBE, Founding and Executive Director of YSP, which this year celebrates its 40th anniversary, said: “The combination of the indoor gallery spaces and our historic landscape provides a perfect setting to appreciate and understand Cragg’s visual language and the exhibition is a new challenge for an artist who has worked in most major institutions around the world.”
During the course of the exhibition, which runs until September 3, Cragg will be presented with the 2017 International Sculpture Centre Lifetime Achievement Award.
One of the most acclaimed artists of his generation, sculptor Tony Cragg was born in Liverpool in 1949.
He made his breakthrough in the 1970s and built his reputation using foraged or ‘found’ materials to create a range of Modernist, often abstract, works that famously included ‘Britain Viewed from the North’, a 22ft sideways mosaic map of Britain assembled from multicoloured plastic detritus.
‘Axehead’ was a large installation in the shape of an axe, comprised of an apparently random assortment of wooden objects.
Other key works include ‘New Stones – Newton’s Tones’, ‘Outspan’, ‘Wooden Crystal’, ‘Luke’, and ‘Under the Skin’.
In the late 1970s Cragg moved to Wuppertal in Germany, teaching at (and later becoming director of) the Dusseldorf Kunstakademie. It has been said that he brings a scientist’s eye to his art.
In 1988 he was the fifth recipient of the Turner Prize. He also represented Britain at the Venice Biennale. He was made a CBE in 2002 and was knighted in 2016.
He has worked in refuse, wood, white onyx, glass, plaster, cast iron and bronze, referring to the latter as “the archaic plastic” and using techniques dating back more than 6,000 years to create his sculptures.http://www.tony-cragg.com/