160 x 310 x 170 cm
Edition of 1

Cragg’s Early Forms are a series of works concerned with container and void, with inner and outer, an interest that can be seen in Sinbad. The openings in Cragg’s vessels, evolved into an arrow slit in his Early Forms. This slit creates a way of seeing the internal space of the sculpture, whilst implying some sort of movement. This slit also encourages the viewer to move around the work to experience it, providing different glimpses into the interior as one moves along. Sinbad is a later work in this series of Early Forms, produced at a time when Cragg was interested in more geometric forms. These works all had more structured internal dynamics, as one can easily see on Sinbad’s surface, as the slit wraps around it creating complicated structures both inside and out. Sinbad was also produced at a time when Cragg began painting these Early Forms. Sinbad has been treated with a matte paint finish giving the piece a patina similar to the surface of cast iron, lending this work an air of utilitarianism.


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


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…



Declination is one of the works from Tony Cragg's Early Forms series that is elevated from the ground. The sculpture has…