Tony Cragg: Sculptures and Drawings

  • 30th July − 6th November 2011 | Modern One (Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art) | £7 (£5)

Early Forms

In Early Forms, his longest-running series of cast works, which began in the late 1980s, Cragg has created a catalogue of unique sculptural forms derived from a diverse range of vessel types — from ancient flasks to test-tubes, jam jars and detergent bottles — that are twisted and mutated together to make new forms.  The title refers to the fact that vessels are among the simplest and earliest surviving man-made forms and, in archaeological terms, are important markers of culture.  During the 1990s the Early Forms became increasingly complex, organic and elastic in form, exemplified here by works such as Early Forms St Gallen (1997).

The series evolved further in the early 2000s when Cragg made a group of more geometric works. He also overcame the problems of permanently fixing colour to cast bronze by using new paint technology, producing vibrantly coloured works such as McCormack (2007) and Outspan (2006). Another development in the Early Forms sculptures in recent years has been their elevation from the ground, as in Declination (2004), a large, two-and-a-half-ton yellow-painted bronze which stands nimbly on three points.

Next: Rational Beings