Declination

2005
Bronze
240 x 230 x 360 cm
Edition of 1

Declination is one of the works from Tony Cragg's Early Forms series that is elevated from the ground. The sculpture has been made to balance on three points, which makes the two–tonne structure seem virtually weightless. Cragg's Early Forms series of cast works began in the late 1980s and was derived from a diverse range of vessel types, such as jam jars, test tubes, ancient flasks and detergent bottles. These containers from which liquid flowed are clearly inspired by his early experience as a laboratory technician. These developed into a series entitled Early Forms Cragg twisted and pulled these forms together to create radically new forms. Early Forms refers to the primitive origins of these vessels as these objects are amongst the earliest surviving man-made forms and are therefore significant culture-makers. In Cragg's work Declination it is clear that two objects have been bound together as all that remains is a seam, which conceals the internal structure, but by doing so encourages one to consider it. Declination refers to an astronomical term comparable to geographic latitude, representing the ability of Cragg’s work to make comparisons between the micro and the macrocosmic realms. The bright yellow paint is again characteristic of Cragg's later works in his Early Forms series.

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About The Artist

Tony Cragg began making work at a time when Minimalism and Conceptual Art were developing rapidly. As such Cragg recognised the need to produce work that developed 'an alphabet of sculpture' from pre-established conventional art materials and techniques. In the 1970's his works were mostly made with found objects through which Cragg questioned and tested material possibilities. Later pieces demonstrated a shift of interest to surface quality and how this could be manipulated through unlikely juxtapositions of materials such as bronze, steel, plastic, rubber, glass, wood, plaster and more. These found works developed into a series of fabricated vessels, which he titled Early Forms in which Cragg’s interest was in the idea of a container as metaphor for the body. His later works, known as Rational Beings, develop this interest into a series of articulated columns, no longer concerned with the organic, but with the dynamic. In these works profiles emerge and disappear from their surfaces and thereby push towards a new abstracted understanding of the human figure. Recently he has been confronting notions of compression and expansion in his works where recognisable forms such as facial profiles, although distorted, become apparent. These works have an almost futuristic element to them, reminiscent of technology synonymous with 3D printing or engineering more familiar at NASA.

Tony Cragg

Born: 1949

Other Artworks by Tony Cragg at CASS

2003

Tongue In Cheek

To be ‘tongue in cheek’ is to be glib, humorous and light–hearted. This sense of lightness is suggested by the perforati…

2011

4pm

The patina of this sculpture is deliberately developed to resemble rust, in order to suggest that the sculpture had been…

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