Tony Cragg (born 1949) is one of the most acclaimed artists of his generation. Born in Liverpool in 1949 and educated at British art schools, he has lived nearly half his life in Germany, with his home and studio in Wuppertal since 1977 and a teaching post at the art academy in Dusseldorf.
Tony Cragg’s sculptures can largely be organized into groups according to the different materials from which they are made: stone, clay, bronze, glass, different synthetic materials like polystyrene, carbon- or glass-fiber. His sensitivity to different materials is and has been the starting point for his work. To a great extent, his choice of material has determined the form, which a sculpture has taken on. Different materials give different emotional experiences, both for the artist and for us as observers. Tony Cragg points out that the words material and materia originate from the Latin word mater mother. Like a mother, the material gives birth to the thought; the different properties of a material give rise to the idea, which produces the form.
In the years around 1980, Tony Cragg became acclaimed for his sculptures and pictures which consisted of things he found, fragments of furniture, household objects of different materials, plastic toys, etc., which were often chosen for their colour, and which, laid out on the floor or fixed to a wall, together created and portrayed forms recognizable from everyday life.