The exhibition by Tony Cragg at Mudam Luxembourg does not aspire to be a retrospective. Bringing together a selection of sculptures from the past twenty or so years, it aims to present the diversity and energy characterising the work of this internationally renowned and tremendously productive artist
Although Cragg approaches questions of form and material not unlike a traditional sculptor, he firmly believes that any imaginable material can be a carrier of meaning, imagination and emotions. For him, sculpture is a medium turned towards the future, a medium whose potential is far from exhausted. ‘The future of sculpture has only just begun’, he explains. ‘Its potential is greater than ever, and its possibilities are just starting to unfold.’ In this conception, art occupies a territory between the organic realm of nature and the functionalistic remit of industrial production. Offering a space of freedom beyond utilitarian needs is therefore what constitutes the explicitly political dimension of his art – or of any art, for that matter – as it allows him to give the material a new form with every new sculpture and express his feelings and emotions in constantly changing ways. ‘Sculpture is how material and material forms affect us’, says Cragg. Reaching beyond viewers’ emotional receptivity, it appeals primarily to their intellectual capacity of analytical perception in order to make sense of what they see.