Internationally renowned sculptor Tony Cragg will present a landmark exhibition of works at Castle Howard and York Minster. The new collaboration between the two iconic Yorkshire venues will see over 30 works by Cragg go on display.
Tony Cragg at Castle Howard will be the first major exhibition by a leading contemporary artist to be held at the historic estate. Castle Howard is Britain’s most famous country house, recognised by millions across the world as the location for Brideshead Revisited and Bridgerton. Its setting is amongst the most spectacular of any building in the UK and one of the most historically significant in Europe.
Major works by Cragg will be shown in Castle Howard’s historic interiors and across its grounds, including a work within the celebrated ‘Temple of the Four Winds’. Cragg’s magnificent sculpture Over The Earth will be presented outside for the first time. Sculptures and works on paper will be on display inside the house, including work in the Great Hall.
Tony Cragg: Field of Heaven, will see Cragg’s large, multipartite sculpture go on display inside the Chapter House at York Minster. Field of Heaven is one of Cragg’s most important works and was inspired by the artist’s time in Siena and his experience of the landscapes of Tuscany. Made of hundreds of sandblasted glass vessels that have been carefully stacked together, the work will sit in dialogue with the Minster’s stained glass windows. Two large sculptures will also be installed outside in Dean’s Park.
The exhibitions celebrate Cragg’s rich sculptural imagination, showing the diverse ways and materials he deploys to make sculpture. It demonstrates the importance of sculpture as an art form today, giving us surprising, hybrid forms that challenge our thoughts and emotions. The exhibition also highlights the important role drawing plays in helping the artist explore his ideas and develop his sculptural thinking. A catalogue by curator Dr Jon Wood will include an interview with the artist.
We’ve always loved the work of Tony Cragg and are therefore delighted that the first contemporary sculpture exhibition at Castle Howard should be dedicated to him. Castle Howard is renowned for its wonderful collection of classical sculpture and we can’t wait to see how Cragg’s work interplays with the collection and highlights the wonder and relevance of this art form for today’s audiences.Victoria and Nicholas Howard, Castle Howard,
We are absolutely delighted that York Minster will be hosting three exceptional works by Tony Cragg in the Chapter House and outside in Dean’s Park. We think people will be moved, fascinated and excited by the juxtaposition of his extraordinary contemporary sculptures within the Minster’s ancient medieval gothic setting.Canon Maggie McLean, York Minster’s Canon Missioner
Tony Cragg has been working and exhibiting since 1969. He participated in documenta 7 and 8 and represented Britain at the Biennale in Venice in 1988. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 1988, the prestigious Praemium Imperiale Award, Tokyo in 2007 and the Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award in 2017. He has lived in Wuppertal since 1977.
He has held professorships in the Akademie der Ku?nste in Berlin and Kunstakademie Du?sseldorf, where he was director from 2009 to 2013. He has exhibited extensively in museums worldwide: Tate Gallery, London (1988), Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven and Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Duesseldorf (1989), Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh and Musée du Louvre, Paris (2011), Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg (2013), Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal and Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg (2016) and Boboli Gardens, Florence (2019).
Tony Cragg at Castle Howard, 3rd May – 22nd September 2024 Castle Howard, York YO60 7DA castlehoward.co.uk
Tony Cragg: Field of Heaven, 3rd May – 29th September 2024, York Minster, Deangate, York YO1 7HH yorkminster.org
About the artist
Tony Cragg was born in Britain in 1949 and moved to Germany in 1977 where he has lived ever since. He first came to critical attention in the late 1970s and was the youngest participant in the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Sculpture Exhibition in London in 1977, showing alongside many sculptors including Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. Cragg was soon the leading light of his generation, closely associated with those artists who soon became known as the ‘New British Sculptors.’ Cragg stood out from this group for his radically materialist sculptural imagination. He rejected established representational approaches to sculpture, challenging viewers with new objects and hybrid forms.
From the early 1970s to the 2000s, Cragg has been preoccupied with the relations between the internal structures of things and their external surfaces. His bronze Stack works combine the geological and industrial, while suggesting the immense violence and dynamism that charge the internal forces of material, despite their static appearance. He is fascinated by layering and accumulation and we find a longstanding interest in geology. Early on in his career he described his sculptures as ‘thinking models’ and this idea has permeated his work ever since.
Cragg has gone on to become one of the most important international sculptors of the early twenty-first century, showing across the world. His work has also been acquired by numerous prestigious public and private collections. His large bronze sculpture Werdendes(meaning ‘that which is becoming’) was installed outside the German Parliament in Berlin in 2020 and large exhibitions of his work have been recently installed at the prestigious Albertina Museum in Vienna in 2022 and at the Pinakothek in Munich in 2023. As well as being an articulate spokesperson for sculpture, he is also a committed educationalist, serving as the director of the Düsseldorf Art Academy.
In 2016, Cragg was awarded a knighthood – a very rare achievement for an artist in Britain – highlighting the significant work he has carried out both as an artist and a teacher, helping sculpture to be better appreciated across cultures and national boundaries.