Tony Cragg. Homage to Silvius Magnago, 2016
Tony Cragg (Liverpool, 1949) is one of the foremost sculptors at international level (1988 Turner Prize, 1986 and 1988 Venice Biennales, 1982 and 1987 documenta in Kassel/Germany). He created his first artworks in the 1970s, out of objets trouvés–parts of scrap metal or urban litter–which he recomposed to figures arranged according to shape and color. In 1977, Cragg moved to Wuppertal, where he still lives. In 2008, he founded the Sculpture Park Waldfrieden, an exhibition center for contemporary plastic art. Since the 1980s–and in particular in the 1990s–he has used a wider range of materials and persisted in the analysis of his early works for which he uses scientific methods and the examination of organic forms. To Cragg, Nature is a store of structures for the artist to draw upon in order to create new and monumental works.
In its complex balance between filled and hollow parts, Cragg’s bronze sculpture for the open-air gallery in Meran/Merano shows the artist’s interest in the intrinsic qualities of matter, in color effects and the perceptions caused by different angles of light incidence. The sculpture is a tribute to politician Silvius Magnago (Meran, 1914 – Bozen/Bolzano, 2010), who was chairman (Obmann) of the Südtiroler Volkspartei from 1957 to 1991, and governor (Landeshauptmann) of the Autonomous Province of Bozen/Bolzano from 1960 to 1989. Magnago is widely regarded as the father of the South Tyrolean autonomy.