Tony Cragg
Versus (2011/19)

Tony Cragg_Versus_Haus am Waldsee

Tony Cragg, Versus, 2011/19, bronze, orange lacquer, 160 x 150 cm, photo: Bernd Borchardt

Our sculpture park is open to the public: Mon – Fri 10 am – 4 pm; Sat + Sun 11 am – 6 pm. 

Tony Cragg (*1949) is one of the world’s leading contemporary sculptors. For the reopening of Haus am Waldsee, the artist loaned us the sculpture Versus (2011) in March 2019. After Outspan (2008), this is now the second generous loan from the artist, which, at the request of the artistic director, acts as the signet of the sculpture park.

The British artist has lived and worked in Wuppertal since 1977, where he spent two years in complete seclusion after studying painting in London. While studying at the Royal College of Art in London, he discovered the medium of sculpture for himself. The encounter with the conceptual artist Richard Long may have influenced him.

In the 1980s, Cragg was successful on the international art market and was represented at documenta 7, 1982 and documenta 8, 1987, as well as at the Biennales in Venice, Sidney and São Paulo. Cragg taught at the Art Academy in Dusseldorf from 1979 and at the University of the Arts in Berlin from 2002. From 2009 – 2013 he was rector of the Dusseldorf Art Academy.

The first version of the sculpture Versus, which the artist is loaning to Haus am Waldsee, was created in 2011 from orange lacquered laminated wood. It was presented under the pyramid of the Louvre in Paris in the context of a solo exhibition. In the following years, bronzes were created in various sizes based on the motif. Among them, the version created in 2019 for Haus am Waldsee is the second largest sculpture and the only one in signal red. Versus belongs to the group of works by Rational Beings, in which Cragg revisits the motif of the stack as he has pursued it since his Stacked Objects since 1976. Here, material such as ice or hot metal seems to melt under its own weight and through external temperature influences. Matter becomes energy, energy becomes matter.

Haus am Waldsee is preparing an extensive exhibition of his drawings with the artist for 2021. Tony Cragg has been running a private sculpture park “Waldfrieden” in Wuppertal since 2008. Next to the listed villa and former residence of the paint manufacturer Kurt Herberts, he has built two exhibition halls on the 15-hectare forest property, where solo exhibitions with international colleagues such as Eduardo Chillida, Mario Merz, John Chamberlain, and younger sculptors are regularly held.