Tony Cragg

England, b1949
Using a vast array of materials, Cragg in the 1980s opened up new possibilities in the field of sculpture. His works are eclectic and playful, bringing together discarded objects in surprising ways. He has said, ‘As a sculptor, I am a passionate materialist, I believe that everything we know, the reality around us, our intelligence and even our emotions are aspects of material and that the material is unimaginably complex and wonderful…’

Spyrogyra 1992

This work captures both the humour and the references to scientific structures that are central to Cragg’s work. It alludes to Marcel Duchamp’s famous 1914 readymade Egouttoir (bottle rack) but also suggests DNA and organic couplings. Each rod on the spiral can hold only one kind of bottle (small or large, for example), which means every time the work is assembled it maintains its essential form but might change in its particulars (which specific bottle goes where). In this way, Spyrogyra mimics genetics, which accommodates both type and individuality.

View Spyogyra in the collection

Tony Cragg, Spyogyra 1992. Mervyn Horton Bequest Fund 1997, Art Gallery of NSW collection © Anthony Cragg