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Tony Cragg (b. 1949)
stainless steel on metal base
63 x 23 5/8 x 23 5/8 in. (160 x 60 x 60 cm.)
Executed in 2010. This work is unique.
Galleri Andersson/Sandström, Stockholm
Acquired from the above by the present owner

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Alex Berggruen
Alex Berggruen

Lot Essay

Tony Cragg's ongoing exploration of the material world reveals itself in this billowing and restless stainless steel form. At first glance, the viewer is encountered with a towering and abstract reflective form. By precariously stacking and layering recognizable features of the human figure upward, the artist sets forth on an investigation of the depths of perception. With each contour, Cragg confronts the limits of his media and reimagines the classic bust, the result of which is an ethereal and minimal aesthetic. 

Narrow and diverging axis points spring upward, conjuring the fluidity of a less static material. As the artist has explained: "Making sculpture involves not only changing the form and the meaning of the material but also, oneself... The popular and unhelpfully simplifying dichotomies of form and context, ugly and beautiful, of abstract and figurative, expressive and conceptual, dissolve into a free solution, out of which a new form with a new meaning can crystallize" (Tony Cragg in Cutting Things Up in Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Konig's Out of Material, Koln, Germany, 2006, p. 142). Untitled demonstrates the artist's tendency to create an unnerving and curious, forceful yet dynamic, object that defies traditional notions of sculpture. Cragg acknowledges the tension in his work and reveals: "I'm interested in somehow establishing some relationship with the materials and the things around me without using the preconceived notions of an already occupied language" (Tony Cragg in Jon Wood's Terms and Conditions: Interview with Tony Cragg in Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Konig's Out of Material, Koln, Germany, 2006, p. 79). 

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