Image: Installationsansicht, Tony Cragg – Drawing as Continuum, Haus am Waldsee 2021, Foto: Roman März, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021
As an exhibition venue for international art, the Haus am Waldsee has had a special relationship with sculpture since it began exhibiting in 1946. Since the extension and general renovation of the building in 2017/18, the Haus am Waldsee is pleased to have on loan the large outdoor sculpture “Versus” (2011/19) by the British sculptor Tony Cragg (*1949). In autumn 2021, it will now dedicate a large exhibition to the drawing work of the internationally active and multi-award-winning sculptor with his works on paper, which will be complemented by individual sculptures inside the museum.
The show focuses on works from the 1980s until today. On display are hand drawings, watercolours, lithographs and etchings that allow a deep insight into the artistic-scientific thinking of Tony Cragg.
The turn to drawing on paper intensified in the 1990s. Now Cragg uses the drawing pencil both for technical communication as a sketch and as a way of contemplating the form and content of complex questions in the realm of the invisible or digital space.
In his drawings, too, Cragg delves deeply into the fields that emerge from his engagement with material and form, micro- and macro-structures and their energy fields. He often playfully works through themes in series on paper, as if they were series of experiments. In the 1990s, for example, he intensively investigates sequences of shapes of vessels that nest, move freely and finally transform as if in a cultural time-lapse. Cragg continues to find new challenges and approaches for his artistic work in current technical and scientific research. His curiosity about the smallest and largest bioenergetic movements that make up the cosmos and surround our planet or lie hidden on microscopic scales, he makes visible in different ways.
Laws of the digital world can be just as much the subject of his search movements as fossil finds that include ages far back in time. Cragg always ties the idea of time and space to an anthropomorphic repertoire of forms. He creates line-dense drawings of heads and faces that flow into one another in multiplied form. Here, ideas of mobility, automation, reflection and liquefaction become visible, which seem to be bound to the human.
Among the series on paper are individual sheets that reproduce insects, tools or even loaves of bread with Old Master precision. In addition to the primarily abstract sheets, which reproduce spatial, formal and energy progressions often in vehement movement, Cragg seems not only to want to reassure himself from time to time of his own capacity for realistic study with these single sheets, but also to refer with humour to ancient cultural and natural everyday realms. As a sculptor, Cragg’s artistic thinking is bound to material structures and spaces of the natural sciences. With the drawings, his sources can be rediscovered.
The rarely exhibited works on paper, which the artist says he creates only for himself and as an attunement, reflect Cragg’s insatiable spirit of discovery, which has brought him great international attention for four decades now.
Curation: Katja Blomberg und Tony Cragg
Catalogue: The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König. Ed., introductory text: Katja Blomberg. Current interview: Jon Wood, Tony Cragg. 76 pages, German/English, 28 EUR
Haus am Waldsee, Argentinische Allee 30, 14163 Berlin-Zehlendorf
Friday, 17. September 2021 to Sunday, 9. January 2022
Tuesday to Sunday, 11 am to 6 pm
regular 7 EUR, reduced 5 EUR