Monday, 3 September 2012

Tony Cragg works on display at Exhibition Road

Elliptical Column by Tony Cragg

Five large-scale sculptures (the largest being 5.5 metres tall) by Tony Cragg (b.1949) are finally on display along Exhibition Road in London, near the V & A Museum and within the newly pedestrian-friendly mixed use space area. Six smaller-scale indoor works are also on display nearby at the V&A, the Science Museum and Imperial College.The works sited outside are in bronze, cast iron and stainless steel, with other works in stone and wood. 

The exhibition has been organised by the Cass Sculpture Foundation and will be on display until 25th November 2012.

Ferryman by Tony Cragg

There's been loads of press coverage, probably because the artist has been based in Germany since 1977 and hasn't had any work here for ages, but it's fair to say that the response has been pretty underwhelmed, which is a shame as he's an artist I have a lot of respect for. However, it's nice to see artworks on display in public places, no matter how conservatively displayed.

Versus by Tony Cragg

Nice interview with Cragg here:

The Evening Standard was quite harsh:

Michael Glover appeared to be lovely about it in The Independent, although it looks as though he gave it 2 stars out of 5:

You can watch a video about it here:

And you can even download an app about it:

According to the Exhibition Road website: 
'Audiences will be able to choose between an interactive quiz trail or an information-led guide. The trail provides two levels for users to choose from: ‘Fun & Fast’ for families and kids, and ‘In-depth & Immersive’ for older students and art lovers. The app will be available to download from iTunes, the Cass Foundation website or by scanning the QR code at any of the sculptures along the road.'

Mixed Feelings by Tony Cragg

I wonder how much the perceived lack of success of these works is not just their repetitious nature as Time Out point out, but also the incredibly old fashioned way in which they are displayed on plinths and plonked in the public realm. Artists are working in and responding to the public realm in much more informed ways these days - it's a shame Tony Cragg has been rather left behind. I'd still like to visit his sculpture park in Wuppertal though: and I have no doubt he'll sell a few more works off the back of the London display. (I know, I'm cynical.)

Luke by Tony Cragg

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