Tongue In Cheek

2003
Bronze
130 x 170 x 230 cm
Edition of 1

To be ‘tongue in cheek’ is to be glib, humorous and light–hearted. This sense of lightness is suggested by the perforations that pierce and soften the heavy bronze and the cavernous opening, which runs through the length of this work. The creation of these hollow, perforated surfaces is a unique technique developed by Cragg to create an unusual surface quality, one which intentionally belies the weight of the substantial bronze from which it is made. Tongue in Cheek is an example of Cragg's work where there is a unique and perplexing combination of anthropomorphism and diagramatic language usually reserved for disciplines such as science and maths. This sculpture is an elaboration of the physical process of literally sticking one’s tongue in one’s cheek. There is also double entendre present in the process of this sculpture, where Cragg has adopted a ‘tongue in cheek’ approach to the typically serious nature of bronze casting.

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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

2005

Declination

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

2011

4pm

The patina of this sculpture is deliberately developed to resemble rust, in order to suggest that the sculpture had been…

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