“My works are absolutely geometric objects, but at the same time they have a shape which is complicated enough to allow you to involve them and have an emotional response” – Tony Cragg
The fifth instalment of the exhibition project “Dalla sabbia, opere in vetro” (“From sand, artworks in glass”) curated by BUILDINGBOX in collaboration with Jean Blanchaert features three artworks by British artist Tony Cragg. The artworks, produced at Berengo Studio, are named “Vortex”, “Untitled”, and “Tower”. Each work in its own way grapples with the contradictory nature of glass, the fluidity of its liquid state and the subsequent cooling through which it becomes rigid and still. The geometric shapes Cragg presents are made possible thanks to the molecular composition of the glass, their transparency and constant interactions with light central elements that continue to bring movement to these works long after their liquid state has ended.
A master of form, Cragg has previously described himself as a “materialist” in the sense that his choice of material is at the heart of his work. Cragg’s practice is inextricably intertwined with his explorations of materials and the meaning of “material” itself. “Material is infinitely complicated and sublime, and, in fact, we don’t know anything else,” he once told FrontRow. For Cragg materials offer their own language, they talk to us and give us messages without words, we read them unthinkingly, along with their connotations, every day.
Cragg has experimented with a variety of mediums for his sculptures throughout his career. Thanks to his scientific knowledge he has managed to create a unique relationship between matter and form, creating sculptures which manipulate single materials with incredible skill. His work ranges widely, using ceramic, bronze, and iron, and at the end of the eighties he finally began experiments with both blown and cast glass. The results, as pictured here, are captivating.
In a world full of “boring and repetitive forms” Cragg is adamant that sculpture works as a powerful opposition to incite interest in the shapes that form our lives. “The non-utilitarian use of material is important” he has argued. “Utility means limitation.”