Anthony Cragg, known as Tony Cragg, is a British sculptor who was born in Liverpool in 1949. He has lived and worked in Wüppertal in Germany since 1977, where he also teaches.
After originally training in science, he soon changed paths to attend Gloucestershire College of Art and Design in Cheltenham from 1969 to 1970 and then Wimbledon School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London.
A winner of numerous prizes (including the Turner Prize in 1988), he shows his work all over the world, and the most important museums of contemporary art have his works in their collections.
He was recently invited to the Musée du Louvre where his sculptures have been integrated with the museum’s collections of ancient to an enthusiastic reception by the public.
Tony Cragg has had a long history of contacts with Saint-Étienne since the Musée d’Art et d’Industrie gave him his first exhibition in France in 1981.
The Musée d’art moderne de Saint-Étienne Métropole has three of the artist’s sculptures, “The Blue Moon” (1980), “Pan Dice” (1999) and “Clear Glass Stack” (1999), which count among the major pieces in the collection.
A member of the New British Sculpture movement which formed at the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s, he worked by transforming ordinary materials. A keen observer of his time and of the consumer society, he recovered materials that were due to be discarded or destroyed and assembled them to form wall mosaics (“The Blue Moon”, 1980).
Later on, he began to develop his work using more traditional materials such as wood, bronze and marble. Whilst he constantly renews his forms, he never strays far from the evocation of the human body. He has produced monumental works that can weigh up to several thousand kilos with an outstanding degree of technical mastery.
“He has developed an ‘alphabet of sculpture’ by diversifying the basic materials he uses. His compositions are installed on walls or on the ground. Later, he began to cover his forms with recovered objects.”
In Saint-Étienne, Tony Cragg is offering visitors a selection of works produced in the last few years: unique wooden sculptures, never seen before in France. Alongside this series, we can also see works in steel, marble and bronze, which will give the public an idea of the rich variety offered by contemporary sculpture. Numerous drawings complete the offering, drawings that the artist considers as works in their own right and not merely preparatory sketches.
The space in the main hall of the Musée d’Art Moderne provides a magnificent setting for Tony Cragg’s imposing sculptures. This exhibition offers a complete overview of the different aspects of the art of sculpture.
14 SEPTEMBER – 29 DECEMBER 2013
++ ECHO(s))) a church, a factory, a museum… : to resonate with the 12th Biennale de Lyon contemporary art show
Musée d’Art Moderne, SAINT-ETIENNE Métropole / Le Corbusier church, FIRMINY / Novaciéries site, SAINT-CHAMOND
A multi-site exhibition with three emblematic venues: the Musée d’Art Moderne de Saint-Etienne Métropole, the Le Corbusier church in Firminy, the Novaciéries site in Saint-Chamond.
A joint exhibition dedicated to young creative artists from Rhône-Alpes and Auvergne.
The three sites encourage individual or collective narratives to echo with and off each other. In keeping with the Museum’s commitment to fostering young creative artists in the region, the exhibition illustrates a change of narrative towards more humanist, anthropological and more sensitive visions of our era and a new form of empathy which is emerging in contemporary art.
14 NOVEMBER – 24 DECEMBER 2013
++ STÉPHANIE NAVA, PHANTASMA SPECULARI
14 SEPTEMBER – 15 DECEMBER 2013
++ ENRICO CASTELLANI – GUNTHER UECKER
A joint presentation of works by these historic figures of European contemporary art now in the latter stages of their careers is an exceptional event after their sole meeting in Milan in 1962.
This exhibition, curated by Davide Di Maggio and Lorand Hegyi, director of the Musée d’Art Moderne de Saint-Etienne Métropole, is therefore a first in France, and an unprecedented opportunity for visitors to see an exhibition in a public museum devoted to these legendary artists.
Günther Uecker, born in Germany in 1930, was one of the founder members of the ZERO group at the beginning of 1960s with Yves Klein, Piero Manzoni, and led by Lucio Fontana.
Enrico Castellani, born in Italy in 1930, was one of the Italian avant-garde artists of the 1960s-70s.
They have both built their work around new strategies for a more dynamic use of space.
Their spiritual visions of their materials and of space reinterpret the artist’s actions as part of a new form of universalism.
They have each in their own way (nails, hammering, canvas) developed a method of working based on repetition.
The new creative elements used by Günther Uecker are: writing as the main artistic act and the use of cultural metaphors to thematise the major conflicts and question the meaning of humanity. Enrico Castellani has developed his artistic methodology with a revaluation of the spirituality of space and its power to foster empathy.
The work of these two artists, rarely seen in France, will constitute a discovery for the French public.
MAM – Musée d’Art Moderne Saint-Etienne Métropole
Enrico Castellani / Günther Uecker / Tony Cragg
curated by Lorand Hegyi and Davide Di Maggio