United Kingdom, 1949
Along with other well-known artists such as Richard Deacon, Antony Gormley or Anish Kapoor, Tony Cragg is one of the most famous representatives of what has accurately been called the "new British sculpture" of the eighties. He was trained at different English centres and when he considered that his studies were at an end, in 1977, he moved to Wuppertal (Germany), from where he embarked on his prolific career. As Cragg himself has acknowledged, a number of British ancestors play an important part in the genealogy of his work, from the idea of landscape to the figure of Richard Long. At all events, Cragg's work was outstanding for its originality from the beginning, since, rather than perfectly visible artistic references, it fed on the fascination he felt for the physical sciences, especially in their more obscure or primitive versions. Cragg's first sculptures are laid out on the ground and draw geometrical shapes or insinuate images of all kinds. From 1980 he started to work on the characteristic wall compositions. With the works from those first years, he had already marked out the guidelines for all his later production: an interest in the material nature of objects and the compilation of a variety of elements, and a taste for the huge margin of creative speculation allowed by the reuse of those very objects. Bearing those parameters in mind, his work has been interpreted as a lucid exercise in modern archaeology which, by forcing a use and a memory towards the world of things, becomes a kind of new realism. From the mid eighties, he took those investigations to free-standing sculpture and broadened the registers of his work enormously.