Tony Cragg: A Rare Category of Objects – Yorkshire Sculpture Park
It’s the second day of September but it feels like the summer we’ve been waiting for. Vast monuments glitter in the brilliant sunlight; a muted gold statue of giant pebbles that have sunken into one another is set against a blue sky; a grey form erupting from the ground like molton metal is rising, it’s growing, like the trees that surround it.
The work of Tony Cragg dots the landscape of the huge space that is the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, an art and exhibition centre set across 500-acres which uses both indoor and outdoor environments to showcase the best in contemporary art. Its size makes it particularly suited to sculpture, and Cragg’s work is effortlessly at home here.
A Rare Category of Objects charts Cragg’s extraordinary career, sharing his passion for material and form with pieces from a variety of periods of his practice. The work is shared between the Underground Gallery, the Garden gallery, and the parkland, each area giving a different and unique ambiance to the impressive structures.
From rolling curves to jagged edges, the outdoor sculptures are both alien to and at one with the landscape; they appear formed of the earth, yet jar against the natural hues of blues and greens in the surroundings. Perhaps they landed here intent to hide among the trees; or else they grew, like natural forms, trying to replicate their surroundings.
Inside, Cragg’s forms are no less striking. The empty shells of each gallery space enable the intricacies of Cragg’s craftmanship to really shine. The visitor’s eye is driven over and through and between each curve, each line, every moving and folding shape, in and out – incredible structures that again appear so natural but could only have been informed by a master maker.
A Rare Category of Objects is rare indeed in its ability to showcase a talent that has spanned so many years and yet has still managed to retain a unified voice, a deep love of form and material which has evolved into an impressive body of work. Within the setting of the YSP, the man and his models are truly given space to breathe, and the visitor is invited to explore both the forms and their environments with all their senses.
Visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park website here for more information.