Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tony Cragg at the Nasher Sculpture Center

Elbow, 2008, wood

I caught a quick glimpse of the Tony Cragg exhibit while we were at the Nasher Sculpture Center in October for the Nasher's Avant-Garde Society's annual members' party.  I finally had the chance to take a close look at the sculptures on the final day of the exhibition on January 8th.

Outspan, 2008, bronze

Eroded Landscape, 1998, glass

I had been familiar with Cragg's sculptures such as the two above having seen them at the major art fairs over the years.  I had also seen some of his smaller sculptures which were probably easier to transport to and from the art fairs.  It was a delight to see his much larger scale works in this exhibition.  I am only posting a few of my favorites:

Lost in Thought, 2011, wood

This guy was my most favorite. I like the name, but I respond to the form as well. It feels human, in an abstract way, to me.  Like one of the abstract characters in a Carroll Dunham painting but rendered in 3D. The crowd was thin, so I had time to get lost in my own thoughts as I moved around this sculpture.

Runner, 2009, bronze (sculpture + details)

Before I entered this exhibit I had expected that Mental Landscape with its literal partial faces blurring as they stretched around the carved jesomite was going to be my favorite sculpture. Instead, it has been the more subtle faces that seem to appear in the sculptures such as Runner above. I began to appreciate being left to my own devices to see faces or other body parts captured frozen in time in the way that a photograph taken from a moving car does.

Divide, 2005, wood

Most of the sculptures in the exhibit were wood tones or bronze patinas.  There was one chrome work, the yellow of Outspan shown earlier in this post, as well as one blue painted bronze sculpture. So the red stain on Divide was a welcome hue of warmth.  It glowed in the early winter afternoon light from the nearby window.  The Nasher is, of course, superior in its curation and placement of sculpture.

The crowd was light on the final day of the show.  I truly hope that many people in the DFW area, as well as visitors, had the opportunity to take in this stunning exhibition.  I know that I am very glad that I did.

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