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Tony Cragg (United Kingdom)

Liverpool, 1949



Cragg created packaging, in this case an empty envelope with air on the inside and air on the outside.

This work, certainly from a distance, looks very attractive with its glistening golden surface. The fruit-like sculpture lies pleasantly relaxed in the landscape in the afternoon sun. But appearances can deceive.

As you move closer the perforations become apparent, making the object ever stranger and more intriguing. There seems to be more that is absent here than present. The material represents mass, weight, indomitability. Yet, the form turns out to be far rougher than one initially suspects and, above all, much more solid and compact. The sculpture is hollow and full of holes.

There is contact with its surroundings, but it also has its own dynamic. This could be regarded as a consistent characteristic of Cragg’s work, in which various materials disrupt, even obscure each other only to rejoin in close harmony. Biological or geological phenomena play a leading role, demanding attention. Sometimes, they are shell-like forms, sometimes they are reduced to an amorphous sky, but here the fruit of his labour is clearly figurative.



  • Envelope
  • 1996
  • l 238 cm x ø 150 cm
  • Bronze
  • MIDW491

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