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Tony Cragg (b. 1949)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Tony Cragg (b. 1949)

The Fanatics

Tony Cragg (b. 1949)
The Fanatics
incised with the artist's initials and date 'T. C. 2006' (on the underside)
stainless steel
135 7/8 x 31½ x 31½in. (345 x 80 x 80cm.)
Executed in 2006, this work is from an edition of five
Marie-Christine Gennart, Brussels.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
London, Lisson Gallery, Tony Cragg, 2006 (another from the edition exhibited).
Berlin, Akademie der Künste Museum, Tony Cragg: Das Potential der Dinge, 2006-2007 (another from the edition exhibited, illustrated in colour, p. 250). This exhibition later travelled to Duisburg, Stiftung Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum.
Special Notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Lot Essay

Executed in 2006, The Fanatics is a highly abstract, expressive sculpture made up of swirling shapes that seem to dynamically revolve around a central axis and spiral upwards like the whirling of a tornado. The sculpture constantly bends and re-orientates itself, building up with bulges of increasing and decreasing size stacked on top of each other that are constantly compressing the volumes of the forms around them. Through the most simple of means of stacking and layering different shapes on each other, Cragg creates a highly sophisticated final result. The combination of the monumental scale, swirling shapes and reflective steel results in a hugely engaging piece that provides a lively and dramatic visual experience for viewers, responding to their movement and inviting appreciation from all angles.
With a background in science, Cragg's laboratory training has always informed his work. The swirling contours of the forms working up The Fanatics recalls dynamic electrical currents, circulating and pulsating up the central axis. For Cragg, it was very important to find a visual language that responds to modern developments, as he said that 'we have gone beyond the stage where we can just represent things in sculpture. We have to find new means of expression, a new visual language.' (T. Cragg in R. Conway Morris, 'Inventing a "new visual language"', International Herald Tribune, 14 October 2010, p. 12) This has resulted in the body of work of which The Fanatics is a fine example, investigating the relationship between the aesthetic world of geometric and biomorphic form and the aesthetic world of the organic. This focus on form, material and the world at large is deeply rooted in the British modernist sculptural tradition brought to its heights by Henry Moore, and the Turner Prize winning Cragg was hailed in the 1980s as one of the leading 'New British Sculptors', alongside Anthony Gormley, Anish Kapoor and others.

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