Tony Cragg YSP Exhibition Review

This exhibition, titled ‘A Rare Category of Objects’ is of international quality and features the work of well-known artist, Tony Cragg. The sculptures and drawings inhabit the interior spaces of the Underground Gallery and the exterior space surrounding the gallery and the nearby grounds. As we entered the park through the main entrance we were greeted by one of his sculptures, symbolising that he is the current ‘main attraction’ so to speak, this resembles the artist’s importance in the art world as an important figure right now.

‘Migrant’ by Tony Cragg

The sculptures are continually exhibited alongside the drawings through the whole space, this gives a good sense of development in his work and shows his process from the early stages of work through to the creations of his sculptural forms. The exhibition aims to showcase the adept knowledge of material that the artist and his ability to put this knowledge into the work that he creates in these masterful sculptures. This development is important for me as a visitor as it helps me to see the theory and planning that has gone into the work. This also enables me to ask further questions of the work such as its initiation and how it developed from the sketches on the wall. From these initial thoughts sprung a whole new level of thought into Cragg’s material handling and how the work had been manufactured by the artist and the fabrication methods involved.

The interior spaces in the underground gallery featured some of Cragg’s smaller work alongside some of his larger works, although most of these were outside in the ‘open air.’ The smaller pieces balanced nicely with the larger works and each room had a harmonious equality between the scale of the works and the curation of the work in the spaces. The larger works were given slightly more space for example and the space, even for the smaller work seemed satisfyingly ample.


‘Hedge’ by Tony Cragg

The only room with a ‘centre piece’ was the middle gallery space, in here ‘spring’ 2015 seemed to be the central work by the artist but despite this, the other works managed to find their place within my glance as I viewed the gallery space, again, due to the space that each work had.

‘Declination’ alongside drawings by Tony Crag

The work outside the gallery space filled the usual spots upon the landscape, the ones that show the work in the most isolation within the grounds whilst making it clear that the work is exhibited together. The grouping of the work externally helps us to define that the work is by the same artist and also helps us to form bonds between the works on show.


Overall, the exhibition gave a thorough overview of the work of Tony Cragg. This was made successful through the use of curation to tie the works together in their different phases of Cragg’s practice. The included drawings brought more interest to the artwork for me as I feel as though I got to know the artists practice a little better through their inclusion in the exhibition.


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