Strange forms that stimulate audience sentiment

Strange forms that stimulate audience sentiment

03 December, 2017 | Share Article


Maryam Dervish: Cragg does not intend to build pre-defined forms or rebuild nature in his artworks; he wants to stimulate the audience's feelings with strange or familiar forms


Maryam Dervish: Cragg does not intend to build pre-defined forms or rebuild nature in his artworks; he wants to stimulate the audience's feelings with strange or familiar forms

 

 

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Tehran today hosts an exhibition of artworks by Tony Craig, who is a German-English sculptor. In this exhibition, several artworks in the field of sculpture, arrangement and design are represented. This exhibition also will familiarize the Iranian audience with the process of his artistic activities. At “Roots and Stones “exhibition, 60 statues and 140 artworks on paper were displayed, which the oldest one was belonged to 1970 and the latest ones were created this year.

One of the museum’s wall is covered with a layer of broken plastic containers and this colourful space is called "crowd". Cragg first showed this artwork in 1984. He tried to examine the impact of humans on nature in addition to criticize the consumable life-style of contemporary humans and its effects on nature, by using ready-made materials.

 

 

"The eroded view" is another title for some of his artworks, which they also formed with ready-made materials. Two examples of these artworks are shown in Tehran, which referred to mid-1990s and they represent same concept in different ways. The layout of glass containers, which carefully arranged together, creates a volume with a unique form. Pots, jars, crumbs and bottles, which formed a unified and bonded compound with their matte colours. This compaction is also visible in another artwork, which has been made with a huge number of "dice." In this volumetric artwork, which is a combination of curved forms, the dice are arranged side by side and cover the surface of the artwork. The sculptures made of pre-packaged and compact materials, give them new forms and concepts.

 

 

 

The attention to the material in the early artworks of Cragg is visible to date. This materialist view also appears in another set of "porous”. The large gypsum plates that are placed on the steel base create a minimalistic view for the viewer. The entire level of these gypsum volumes is regularly perforate and creates a sponge tissue, which unlike its rude and heavy genus has a soft and light appearance. However, the most important part of this exhibition is his wooden and bronze sculptures, which are very similar to each other, and only there is differences in detail’s form. In these artworks, which often have large dimensions, the artist inspired by the natural forms and plants, as well as the organs and faces of man, have created strange artworks that excite the viewer. Cragg puts human beings into his huge sculptures, but instead of exposing the audience to natural or beautiful faces, he places the layer together to create a new perspective of the figure with these accumulations. The layers that are irregularly arranged together and create torsion in forms, such as deposits of calcareous layers of caves or shells of the earth, recall the passage of history. These forms are heavily involved with space and force the audience to rotate around them to examine curved, bent, dipped, or highlighted sculptures that seem to be infinitely able to grow, in different ways, and analyse them from different views in order to find new face in it.

 

 

 

Apart from the sculptures, another part of the exhibition is devoted to Tony Craigg's designs. He knows design and painting as his primary interest; he constantly designing, and what ultimately remain in his paperwork, has signs of his sculptures. The tableaus on the walls of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tehran face the audience with designs that either represent the form of a face or just extracting energy. On the other hand, the artworks produced in the manner of etching printing, are reminiscent of the three-dimensional volumes or part of human organs. Sir Anthony Douglas Cragg, is one of Britain's most important contemporary sculptors, whose artworks are represented in many parts of the world. Before turning to art, he obtained his experience in biochemistry laboratory and research institute for rubber production. These experiences, after turning to art, played an important role in his understanding of material and understanding of natural structures and artificial materials. Cragg does not intend to build pre-set forms or rebuild nature in his works, but he wants to stimulate the audience's feelings with strangers or acquaintances.

 

 

By looking at the exhibition, many different experiences can be seen, but in the end, it seems that the artist has expanded some ideas and themes in different forms. These complex forms are based on nature and geometry inspired by the structure of the human body. He know nature very well and he converts what he sees into matter. The "Roots and Stones" exhibition is being held at the Museum of Contemporary Arts of Tehran until january12.