Sculpture has never really been a main artistic interest of mine, but Tony Cragg’s exhibit at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas may have changed my mind. Seeing Things was an exhibit full of mostly nonlinear and free-standing shapes.
Instead of just utilizing materials such as wood and bronze, he also incorporates everyday objects such as dice into his work. When I say dice, I mean thousands of the darn things. The best part? He does it all himself. Usually artwork of this scale is made with the help of several assistants. I have respect for Cragg because of that (well, besides being an immensely talented artist of course). Most artists of his stature would not be so hands-on.
Besides sculptures, Seeing Things also includes paintings, drawings, and installations. One particular piece, Congregation, is made of various wooden objects with hooks attached to them. From far away, the wood appears to have some kind of frosted layer on top, but inching closer reveals an exterior of metal hooks.
Cragg’s drawings possess an intense energy. Curved lines flow in no particular pattern across the page, leaving little white space. The backgrounds of many drawings include grid-like straight lines, giving a graphic and architectural quality to his work. The exhibit as a whole reflects the artist’s obvious obsession with shape, whether it’s in 2D or 3D form.
Perhaps more trips to the Nasher will now be in store.
All photos taken by me