Tony Cragg, ‘Britain Seen from the North’ 1981
Tony Cragg
Britain Seen from the North 1981
Tate
© DACS 2020
Tony Cragg’s solo exhibition held at the Tate Gallery following his 1988 Turner Prize success

Tony Cragg’s solo exhibition held at the Tate Gallery following his 1988 Turner Prize success
© Tate Photography

Cragg’s method of dispassionate ordering and composing seeks to make evident the vast array of objects and images that surround us, but with which he feels modern man has only a superficial relationship, based on function alone. In order to enhance our imaginative and emotional relationship with the world at large, Cragg proposed beginning with physical matter as the fundamental basis of experience. To this end, in the early 1980s, he began to work with objects arranged on the floor or wall in simple configurations, such as Postcard Union Jack (1981; Leeds, C.A.G.), made from sherds of plastic, or an axehead composed of various real and fake wooden elements. By 1985 he had extended his range to include carved and machine-cut stone and cast bronze and iron to make sculpture of simple, generic images or standardized prototypes, such as a house or a test-tube.