Tony Cragg is one of the most famous sculptors of the 21st century. An international audience knew him through his participation in several Biennales in Venice, Sao Polo and Sydney and through his work as rector at the Art Academy in Düsseldorf.
- Date of Birth: April 9, 1949
- Birthplace: Liverpool, United Kingdom
- Nationality: British/German
- Studies: Wimbledon School of Art; Royal College of Art
- Style: sculpture, drawings
- Era: Contemporary Art
Craggs artworks are influenced by a variety of materials, such as wood, stone and metal. But also for everyday waste Cragg finds use. He consists predominantly of movement and structures apart and manufactures of unique sculptures to show the organic and biomorphic forms.
Childhood and studies
Tony Cragg was born on April 9,1949 as Anthony Douglas Cragg in Liverpool. He was the son of an electrical engineer. Cragg spent his childhood in the United Kingdom. After successful completion of high school, he initially wanted to pursue a career in science. Between 1966 and 1968 he became a biotechnical assistant. During this time he made his first drawings and landscapes. Cragg had always a passion for art. For this reason, he started a basic course at Gloucestershire College of Art & Design in 1969. He completed it in 1970. In order to fully pursue an artistic career, he began to study in London at the Wimbledon College of Art. There he was educated by Roger Ackling and Jim Rogers. Through them he came into contact with the sculpture art form. In 1973 he graduated successfully and was then educated until 1977 at the Royal College of Art in the field of sculpture. After completing his studies, Cragg left the United Kingdom and moved to Wuppertal in Germany.
Before Cragg came to Germany, he worked in a university teaching position at Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Metz (France). From 1978 he taught at Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf. Ten years later he was appointed as a professor and worked until 2001 as such in Düsseldorf. After that, he became a professor for sculpture at Universität der Künste in Berlin, but held always the pro-rector position in Düsseldorf. In 2009 he was the rector of the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf and was the successor of Markus Lüpertz. In 2013 Cragg resigned and Rita McBride became the new rector. In his time as professor and rector in Düsseldorf, artists like Tina Beifuss, Florian Neufeldt and Constantin Wallhäuser were his students.
In 2015 Cragg was awarded an honorary membership at Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf. In addition he became an honorary citizen in the city Wuppertal, where Cragg lives and works.
Exhibitions and prices
Since the 1980s, Tony Cragg was a representative of the “New British Sculpture” and is still one of the most important mediators of contemporary sculptural art in England. Cragg participated with his art in numerous exhibitions. He was part of documenta 7 (1982) and 8 (1987) in Kassel. In addition, he was the representative for England at the Venice Biennale in 1988. Participations at the Biennales in Sao Paolo and Sydney followed.
In 1985 Tony Cragg was already nominated for the prestigious British Turner Prize, but it went to Howard Hodgkin. But he could look forward, when three years later in 1988, he received the price himself.
In 2006, Tony Cragg acquired a 12-hectare estate in the forest area Christbusch in Wuppertal. Cragg purchased the private park in private initiative in order to offer his art a fixed place to be exhibited. In 2008, the sculpture park was completed and opened under the auspices of the charitable foundation “Cragg Foundation”.
The park currently shows 19 works by Tony Cragg from different materials such as bronze, metal and steel. Yet, in changing exhibitions also numerous other international artists such as Jan Fabre, Jean Tinguely, John Chamberlain and Eduardo Chillida are displayed. For this purpose an extra exhibition hall by the architect Rudolf Hoppe was built. New sculptures continue to be added. The sculpture park is not only an exhibition space, it is also a space for concerts and cultural lectures.
- Berlin – Neuer Berliner Kunstverein
- Duisburg – Lehmbruck Museum
- Karlsruhe – ZKM Museum für Neue Kunst
- Leipzig – Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst
- Wuppertal – Von der Heydt-Museum
- London – Tate Modern
- Amsterdam – Stedelijk Museum
- Klosterneuburg – Essl Museum Kunst der Gegenwart
- 19 April – 14 August 2016 Tony Cragg. Retrospektive – Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal
- 2015 Skulptur – Buchmann Galerie, Berlin
- 2015 Artists and their Time – Istanbul Modern, Istanbul
- 2014 Neue Arbeiten – Konrad Fischer Galerie, Dusseldorf
- 2014 Raw Materials. Vom Baumarkt ins Museum – Städtische Galerie, Bietigheim-Bissingen; Städtische Galerie, Delmenhorst
- 2013 Die Bildhauer – Kunstsammlung NRW, Dusseldorf
- 2012 46. Art Cologne, Cologne
- 2012 Frühwerke – Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden, Wuppertal
- 2011 New Sculptures – Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg
- 2010 Skulpturen und Zeichnungen – Museum der Moderne, Salzburg
- 2009 Aus dem Stamm. Die Sinnlichkeit des Materials – Städtisches Museum Singen
- 2008 Sculptures and Works on Paper – Galerie Bernd Klüser, Munich
- 2007 The Freak Show – Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon
- 2006 Tony Cragg. Das Potential der Dinge – Akademie der Künste, Berlin; Lehmbruckmuseum, Duisburg
- 2006 Full House. Gesichter einer Sammlung – Kunsthalle Mannheim
- 2005 Landschaften. Landscapes – Kunstverein ArtHAUS e.V., Ahaus
- 2003 Signs of Life – Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn
- 2002 Conversation? – The Athens School of Fine Arts, Athens
- 2001 Ceramics – Rathausgalerie, Munich
- 2000 New Work – Marian Goodman Gallery, New York
- 1999 Zeitwenden. Rückblick und Ausblick – Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn; Kunstmuseum, Bonn
- 1998 Skulpturen im Öffentlichen Raum – Ulmer Museum, Ulm
- 1997 Zeichnungen – Galerie Karsten Greve, Milan
- 1995 Konversionen – Städtische Galerie Altes Theater, Ravensburg
- 1994 Zeichnungen – Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken
- 1990 The Readymade Boomerang – 8th Biennale Sydney
- 1987 Anderer Leute Kunst – Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld
- 1985 7000 Eichen – Kunsthalle Tübingen
- 1984 An International Survey of Recent Paintings and Sculpture – Museum of Modern Art, New York
- 1982 Kunst wird Material – Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin
- 1981 Through the Summer – Lisson Gallery, London
- 1979 Tony Cragg – Lisson Gallery, London
- 2013 Rheinischer Kulturpreis, Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung
- 2012 Cologne-Fine-Art-Preis
- 2012 Bundesverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse
- 2009 Honorary doctor of the Royal College of Arts
- 2009 Goldene Schwebebahn, Wuppertal
- 2008 Ehrenring der Stadt Wuppertal
- 2007 Praemium Imperiale für Skulptur
- 2005 1. Preis für die Beste Skulptur, Beijing Biennale
- 2002 Piepenbrock Preis für Skulptur
- 2001 Shakespeare-Preis
- 1992 Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres
- 1989 Von der Heydt-Kulturpreis, Wuppertal
- 1988 Turner Prize, London
- Wie man einen Apfel schält. Der Bildhauer Tony Cragg, Horst Brandenburg, Germany 2003, ’40.
- The Eye. Tony Cragg, Great Britain 2001, ’26.
- Plastik aus Plastik. Der Bildhauer Tony Cragg, Germany 1988, ’30.
- Tony Cragg. Matrix, exhibition catalogue, Kestnergesellschaft Hannover, Nuremberg 2012.
- Tony Cragg. Figure Out Figure In, exhibition catalogue, Musée National du Louvre, Paris 2011.
- Anthony Cragg. Dinge im Kopf, exhibition catalogue, Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst Duisburg, Cologne 2011.
- Tony Cragg. Second Nature, exhibition catalogue, Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Cologne 2009.
- Tony Cragg. In and Out of Material, exhibition catalogue, Akademie der Künste Berlin, Cologne 2006.
- Tony Cragg. Signs of Life, exhibition catalogue, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn 2003.
- Tony Cragg. Plastiken und Zeichnungen der 90er Jahre, exhibition catalogue, Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal 1999.
- Tony Cragg. Eine Werkauswahl, Armin Wildermuth, Stuttgart 1990.