Posted on: Sunday, March 13, 2022

A new work of art exhibited in the middle of nature: Early Forms by Tony Cragg

© Arthur Péquin

Moving away from the Château, along the woods and the meadows, a bronze sculpture by Tony Cragg, Early Forms (1993), atop of a small hill overlooking the park, stands out because of the fine, undulating coarseness of its shape: has a prehistoric animal been reincarnated in the garden? Or has a meteorite fallen from the sky? One has to come close to truly appreciate the sculpture, for which the artist has worked with familiar, everyday containers which he assembles (chemical containers, plastic bottles, mortars). Inspired by their simple shapes, the English artist explores the ways in which they can transform in space and in the surrounding nature. The sculptor studies new links between the material and natural worlds. For him, undulation replaces the classical lines of tidy sculpture, as if natural forms were reclaiming their rights. For Tony Cragg, the containers and vessels function as metaphors of cells, organs, organisms or bodies. The torsions he exerts, often along a curved axis, reveal new figurative and organic characteristics. The underlying structure of these sculptures endows their skin with the tension of a membrane, reflecting the basic structures of many organisms, plants and animals.