STROKE, TONY CRAGG, 2014

Today we are celebrating the opening of Frieze Art Fair (https://frieze.com) in London. As part of the Frieze programme, Frieze Sculpture in Regent’s Park is a free show of twenty-five new and significant sculptures by leading artists around the world. Artists exhibiting their sculptures include Magdalena Abakanowicz, Rasheed Araeen, Urs Fischer, KAWS, Alicja Kwade, Michael Craig-Martin, Ugo Rondinone and Sarah Sze. For this post, we will be taking a closer look at the beautiful bronze sculpture by Tony Cragg, entitled ‘Stroke’.

Cragg was born in Liverpool in 1949. He started out as a lab assistant at the National Rubber Producers’ Research Association and worked nights at a foundry, where he first became fascinated with materials. His career in the 70s focused mainly on site-specific installations of found objects and discarded materials. In the 80s, his artistic approach moved towards a focus on the material itself and he experimented with the sculpture of wood, plaster, stone, fiberglass, Kevlar, stainless steel, cast iron and bronze. The appeal of sculpture to Cragg is summed up by his own words:

“Sculpture is a method to approach our universe, to look for new forms and to formulate new questions about the world in which we live, about reality. My experience of sculpture shows that it is an incredibly dynamic and mobile thing. There is something very immediate in reading the material.”

In this light, Stroke could be interpreted as the movement of an ink brush, elegant and graceful. It emits an energy from within, giving a sense of freedom and plasticity. We could say that it represents the pen caught in a swift movement, or, to go even further, the ephemerality of life, desires, moments.

– V.B.

To find out more about Tony Cragg’s work: http://www.tony-cragg.com

Frieze Sculpture: https://frieze.com/article/frieze-sculpture-2017-0  until Sunday 8th October, Regent’s Park, London. Entry free + Free audio tour can be downloaded.

Bibliography:
CRAGG Tony, Unnatural Selection, Hirmer, 2017
ELLIOTT Patrick, Tony Cragg: Sculptures and Drawings, Yale University Press, 2011

Stroke

 

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