Tony Cragg, actually Anthony Douglas Cragg, was born in Liverpool in 1949. In 1966-1968 he worked as a lab technician at the biochemical laboratory of the Natural Rubber Producers Research Association. Finding inspiration through research carried out on the then new material natural rubber, Tony Cragg changed from science to art in 1969. While he had made first drawings during his days as lab technician, he began his artistic career with rubber landscapes and assemblages. In 1969/70 Tony Cragg enrolled for art at the Gloucestershire College of Art in Cheltenham. In 1970 he transferred to the Wimbledon School of Art where he was a student of Roger Ackling and Jim Rogers. From 1973 to 1977 he attended the Royal College of Art in London, where he focused on sculpting.
As of 1976 Tony Cragg began to teach and had a teaching assignment from the École des Beaux-Arts in Metz. Between 1978 and 2001 he taught at the Dusseldorf Art Academy and was appointed professor in 1988. In 2001 Tony Cragg changed to Berlin where he taught sculpting at the University of Arts, however, he returned to Dusseldorf in 2006. From 2009 to 2013 he was rector of the Dusseldorf Art Academy.
Tony Cragg's early period of creation in the 1970s was characterized by assemblages of homo-chromatic plastic objects and everyday objects from which the artist formed new two-dimensional figures. In the 1980s and early 1990s he began to use materials like wood, stone and bronze. The influence of Land Art, Minimal Art, Arte Povera and Conceptual Art is obvious. His works became more spacious and three-dimensional. Tony Cragg's sculptures from the mid 1990s onwards are characterized by a partition, a segmentation into layers and an askew arrangement around a center axis. Heads and objects become amorphic but yet definable poly-dimensional structures.
His innumerable grand exhibitions all over the world deliver proof of Tony Cragg's international acclaim. The sculptor and graphic artist is regarded as one of the most important and most influential artist of New British Sculpture. Tony Cragg received numerous awards and honors, among them the Turner Prize in 1988, the Praemium Imperiale for sculpture in 2007, as well as the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2012. Works by Tony Cragg can be found in almost all renowned international museums and collections of modern and contemporary art, among them the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Tate Gallery London or the Lenbachhaus in Munich.
In 2006 Tony Cragg acquired a 15 hectare park compound in Wuppertal and created the "Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden" with his art. Tony Cragg lives and works in Wuppertal.
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