Past Exhibition

Tony Cragg

“Sculpture is just a way of dealing with the big world, of looking for new forms and formulating new questions about the world we live in, about reality.” – Tony Cragg

Tony Cragg’s exhibition at Villa Schöningen features a precise selection of sculptures created over the past six years, as well as drawings and prints from the past twenty years. The works provide a glimpse into the fascinating diversity and dynamism of the work of this internationally renowned artist.

​For Tony Cragg, every imaginable material is a carrier of meaning, ideas and emotions. Thus, sculptures made of differently treated wood, cast bronze, mouth-blown Murano glass, and polished steel can be seen on the 1st floor of the villa. Despite the difference in material, the sculptures are closely interrelated, which can be seen very nicely, for example, in the interplay of the two works Woman’s Head made of bronze and Contradiction made of wood. It becomes clear that for the artist, each sculpture is a further development of the one that precedes it. Tony Cragg thus created an encyclopedic body of work, a sculptural universe.

In addition to the large sculptural work, an impressive oeuvre of drawings and prints has also emerged over the last 30 years.
Drawing does not require long preparation, as working with material for sculpture does. The selection of drawings and prints presented at Villa Schöningen shows how works on paper can anticipate what follows in sculpture.

In conversations with Tony Cragg, however, it is constantly clear that these works are not a substitute for sculpture and that one cannot clarify what sculpture is in drawing. Rather, the artist uses it as an instrument to think visually. Freed from the resistance of the material, drawing gives him a speed and lightness that the material of sculpture denies. In drawing Tony Cragg can discover new territory that can be the starting point for a sculpture, or suffice itself as “sculpture on the page”.

​The exhibition at Villa Schöningen traces this interrelationship in a special way.

Tony Cragg was born in Liverpool in 1949. He lives and works in Wuppertal and is one of the most important sculptors of our time.

In 2016 he became Knight Bachelor of the British Empire. In 2007 he was awarded the Praemium Imperale and in 1988 the Turner Prize.

Tony Cragg’s works can currently be seen in numerous museum exhibitions, such as the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, MUDAM Luxembourg, or the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba.

»FRAUEN« in Conversation

Current exhibition

The exhibition “Michael Schmidt »Frauen« in Conversation” presents the image series “Women” by the Berlin photographer Michael Schmidt, who died in 2014. The entire series, consisting of 81 analog black-and-white photographs, is shown in the context of works by twelve female artists of different generations. Schmidt’s view of a generation of women is complemented by the artists’ perspectives, on the female body, sometimes their own.

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