British sculptor Tony Cragg is widely recognized as one of the most acclaimed artists of his generation and has contributed significantly to the debate on contemporary sculpture. At a time when minimalism and conceptualism were considered the most popular movements, Cragg began using mundane materials, which were tested to new limits.
As a young artist Cragg became known for his sculptures that utilized found materials and simple making techniques such as stacking, splitting and crushing. Discarded construction and household materials became the basis of his major early works. In the late 1970s he began collecting discarded plastic objects and arranged them into colour categories, which were later laid out to portray forms recognizable from everyday life.
His later works demonstrate a shift of interest to surface quality and its manipulation, and a play with unlikely juxtapositions of materials. Results vary from the delicate to the grotesque, in materials as diverse as bronze, steels, plastic, wood and plaster.