TONY CRAGG – ABSTRACT SCULPTOR

10 02 2012

One cannot not notice once in a while a giant  among us. A giant, that is the same height, same stature like everyone of us – only his  mind and his prolific resume make him a giant. Meet Tony Gragg. An unbelievably prolific sculptor – in a class of his own.

Tony Cragg was born in Liverpool, England in 1949. Internationally recognized as one of the leading abstract sculptors of his generation, Cragg has produced a highly influential body of work centered on the manipulation of shapes and surfaces as they relate to the human environment. Using such diverse materials as bronze, glass, and found objects, Cragg has created enigmatic works that meld bio-morphic shapes with otherworldly textures. In 1988, Tony Cragg was awarded the Turner Prize from the Tate Gallery, London, England. Tony Cragg has exhibited in museums throughout the world including The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; The Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Texas; the Tate Gallery, London, England; Musee National d’Art Moderne – Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Wiener Secession, Vienna, Austria; and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain.

London Art Award nomination Tony Cragg: ‘I’m not a religious person—I’m an absolute materialist—and for me material is exciting and ultimately sublime. When I’m involved in making sculpture, I’m looking for a system of belief or ethics in the material. I want that material to have a dynamic, to push and move and grow.’

The Telegraph: “His move away from assemblage towards a material freighted with art-historical baggage could well have made Cragg look antediluvian. But as a show at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art reveals, over the last 20 years Cragg not only faced the challenge but revelled in it, making bronzes that weigh many tons, and yet look as though they’d been freed from the laws of gravity and inertia, zigzagging giddily upwards, as vertiginous in their verticality as Brancusi’s Endless Column. In these amazing sculptures Cragg appears at times to be engaging in a private conversation with the great masters of early 20th-century sculpture.”

Cragg: “There is this idea that sculpture is static, or maybe even dead, but I feel absolutely contrary to that. I’m not a religious person—I’m an absolute materialist—and for me material is exciting and ultimately sublime. When I’m involved in making sculpture, I’m looking for a system of belief or ethics in the material. I want that material to have a dynamic, to push and move and grow.

“I also want that to happen over the course of making things, so that as soon as one generation of sculptures has gone up, another generation is coming on and things are growing up around me. That’s how it seems to work for me.”

The Liverpool-born visual artist is currently the director of Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, and has lived in Germany since 1977. He won the Turner prize in 1988, and for his services to art received a CBE in 2002. He also opened a sculpture park in Wuppertal, Germany. All his sculptures are handmade, and he is well-known for scorn of factory-made art; likening non-handmade works to relatives that one has never met.

 View Tiny Craggs work in a Waldfrieden Sculpture Partk in Germany

Tsvetana,

for the ArtChronicle





WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR YOUR ART LATELY?

7 01 2012

HOW RELEVANT IS YOUR ART?

A few weeks ago a good friend sent me a cut our from an article in a Northern California newspaper. The cutout was missing the subtitles in the corner … However – reading this short and yet powerful article – I decided as soon as I can – I will post it on this blog, since it is so relevant! In our daily lives as Artists and designers – recognition sometimes never comes soon enough . There are moments when you just wish you were someone else – not constantly working,  struggling – and when it comes to promoting your art- you take a back seat. No reason. Maybe you thin your art will speak for itself.  Or maybe it is too close to your heart  – or  you still think it needs to be perfected  … whatever the reason, you let it sit  in your studio. And time passes . The truth is – once you have created it – you have an obligation to share it! Forget the sales – forget the fact that very few can afford to purchase art. A sale may come or not – but if your art is worth it – it will leave a mark in someone’s life.  A memory – will awaken hope or  a dream or a sense of  belonging . Whatever the case may be – your art mean something to someone  – and you must show it for that t reason only.

Have we become do corrupted that we cannot say the word Art without infusing the word Money in it?  VALUE does not always have to do with money. The intrinsic value of your art is the one you must show the world.

What is intrinsic value?:” The intrinsic value of something is said to be the value that that thing has “in itself,” or “for its own sake,” or “as such,” or “in its own right.” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

If you put your heart in your Art – it will have value; intrinsic value to someone. And that is worth a lot more than any extrinsic value, expressed in modern currency. And that is worth a lot more than any extrinsic value, expressed in modern currency.  In the grand scheme of things – this form of value is of less importance, isn’t it?

What have you done for your art lately? Who did you show it to?

Here is Patrick Lydon’s Article:

ARTISTS MUST SHARE THE IMPORTANCE OF THEIR WORK

by Patrick Lydon

Recently a fellow San Jose Art Commissioner was speaking to a former firefighter. She mentioned her position on the commission, to which the man replied: “ Art? What is Art? I see them installing sculptures in front of the fire stations, but what does it do for us?”

The former firefighter essentially saw public art as a poor use of money that could be diverted to other utilitarian services. The commissioner dutifully retorted by explaining her point of view on how public art inspires us, educates us, makes us think, laugh, smile, fosters a sense of Community and generally makes our neighborhoods better places to live.
But Art is far more than this community and generally makes our neighborhoods better places to live. But Art is far more than this.
If you are an Artist, you might not notice the ubiquity of the firefighter’s sentiment, especially when you are around friends and family who support you. However, an overwhelming majority of people today for one reason or another do not understand how and why art and creativity are important.
And it is not their fault!
As artists we can’t so easily blame art literacy on those who don’t understand it, on school boards who cut it from the curriculum or on government for not supporting it financially. It is difficult to admit, but we first need to blame ourselves.
Those of us who understand the importance of art and the creative spirit are largely failing at making it a part of others lives – failing at teaching the importance of our craft, failing at reminding others every chance we get how important the arts have been to us, failing at showing how art and creativity can and should be an important part of everyone’s life.
Although art often competes poorly in people’s minds when put alongside science, math or even shopping, the use of art as an integral part of life actually predates the oldest of these activities by some 30,000 years. (See Chauvet in France, the topic of Werner Herzog’s new film “Cave Forgotten”) Art has long been one of the basic components of a balanced life.
Throughout history, the most successful developed societies have valued artists highly, not only for what they produce directly but also for the positive tangenial effect that their uninhibited creativity has on society as a whole. This mysterious gift of creativity that Artists wield has had a large part in shaping our world into what it is today. As difficult an idea as it may seem, without creativity and the arts, you and I could quite easily still be living in caves – and caves without drawings on the walls at that.
The definition of art is often confined to painting, sculpture and perhaps performing arts, but the art is far more broad than these disciplines. Whether we recognize it or not, art surrounds us. From the music on our iPod to the design of the chair we sit in, the effect of art enters our lives hundreds of times dally. Art is not relevant to us unless we are educated as to what it is and why it is not only important but necessary.
In order for that relevancy to be understood and maintained, the stories of art and creativity must be told again and again, and in as many times ways as possible for as many different types of people as possible.

So – for those of you who know the value of arts and creativity: WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE ART STORY? AND WHOM HAVE YOU TOLD LATELY?

A few words about Patrick Lydon:

WHO IS PATRICK LYDON?

http://www.SocieCity.com

Editor-in-Chief
San Jose State University
About

A student of art, music, technology, and of the world around him, Patrick Lydon gained aesthetic and communicative training and interactions while earning his B.A. at San Jose State University. Following his studies, Lydon spent seven months traveling throughout East Asia and Europe, studying the energy and interactions between people, art, nature, and the urban space. From those experiences, his social/urban/nature research venture SocieCitywas formed, with content from a varied cast of authors, researchers, and artists, produced for consumption by the majority.

___________________________________________________

Perhaps Mr. Lydon does not realize it – but  his point of view has inspired  many.  This is my way of saying ‘Thank you!’

Yours truly,

Tsvetana Yvanova

for Art Chronicle





Kristan Marvel Bronzes at Warner Center

20 07 2011

THE ART ART PROJECT with Curator Jeff Phillips

is presenting Kristan Marvel in  CONTEMPORARY BRONZE  show.

“CONTEMPORARY BRONZE”
July 15, 2011 – September 15, 2011
marvellpiece.jpg

Kristan Marvell
Opening Reception
July 30th, 2011   5-8pm

SCULPTURE @ THE PLAZA GARDENS

WARNER CENTER
21st Century Plaza
6301 Owensmouth Ave
Woodland Hills, CA 91367

THE ART OF KRISTAN MARVELL

Kristan Marvel’ s sculptures derive from a technique, which he developed and has worked with over the last twenty years, that he calls spontaneous carving. His  bronze sculptures begin as monolithic chunks of Styrofoam. As a stone carver has marble, Marvell has Styrofoam. The sculptures evolve as Marvell pulls and  manipulates large hot wires through massive blocks of Styrofoam. This process   allows for the improvisational removal of material and produces a unique visual    vocabulary. Also, Styrofoam, a material devoid of sensuality, an industrial    emblem, is in a sense corrected and made sensual as it progresses towards its  transformation into bronze.
Through this visual vocabulary Marvell explores the confrontation between the  natural, the organic, and man’s manipulation and reconstruction of the world.
On the most obvious level, the natural landscape is used as a point of inspiration, a visual ode to the raw power of its geological beauty. The work acknowledges and utilizes nature’s ability to elicit emotional transcendence. However, the sculptures are not replicas of natural formations. As a sculptor, Marvell, is interested in thematic or formalist concepts such as the relationship between mass and density, or volume and spatial balance. He likes the enigma of creating sculptures where mass is levitated in unusual ways, where unwary fragility is able to bear great weight. By way of modernist formal concerns the work references the concept of man’s transformation of nature through the intellectual event of manipulation.
As the eye wanders the sculptural planes, there is a sparseness, a focused control of surface and texture, in which the hand of the artist is evident. In that organization of space, a thoughtful and heart felt integrity emerges, imbuing the sculptures with emotion and grace, reaffirming the power of the object.

by Nicholette Kominos

For  The Art Chronicle





Meet Kristan Marvel- A California Sculptor

20 01 2010

Meet California Sculptor Kristan Marvel


Very often I meet Artists and sculptors and we review our work. Rarely, once in a while  – I  will meet a talent and what they have created – makes a lasting impression. One such talent is Kristan Marvel. Most of is work is in monumental scale. His style is so organic – that one may think these compositions have been carved by nature’s own hand. Kristan’s spatial vocabulary rich in depth and texture – it possesses this instant Zen effect that is difficult to define in words. If philosophy can take shape – then here it is! Entire symphony of shapes. Kristan Marvel has unusual beginning as a sculptor – with a degree in Biology and Political Science, and later Masters in Fine Arts in addition to 20 years of sculpture career – his body of work is remarkable. His work graces the private collections of Mr&Mrs. Art Cohen, Steve Chase, Howard Wright – to name a few. Marvel’s public sculpture projects include City of Hope, Duarte, CA, Santa Anna Botanical Garden – the list is long. He works out of his incredibly spacious studio with its own foundry in Los Angeles. He is also associated with working closely with Herb Alpert in his new sculpture show. We will keep you posted on his upcoming exhibitions_________________READ ON









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