Versus

2012
Bronze
266 x 285 x 150 cm
Edition of 1

Poised between figuration and abstraction, the form of Versus is composed of over sixty different profiles that combine in an emotive and powerful bronze assemblage. In its dynamic sense of movement, the work is part of Cragg’s iconic Rational Beings group that is characterized by tall columnar forms fabricated in bronze, wood, stone, plaster or steel, in which facial profiles become intermittently visible when the works are viewed from different angles. Evoking a vitality and sense of internal energy, Versus invites the viewer to interact with its shifting outlines and the myriad of interpretations they provoke. Here, the subtle anthropomorphic quality of the sculpture instills it with a sense of human intimacy. Versus was originally exhibited in Tony Cragg’s major solo exhibition, curated by Cass Sculpture Foundation, at Exhibition Road, London in 2012.

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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

2003

Tongue In Cheek

To be ‘tongue in cheek’ is to be glib, humorous and light–hearted. This sense of lightness is suggested by the perforati…

2005

Declination

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

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Sculpture

Tongue In Cheek

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…