Tony Cragg at Houghton Hall
Houghton Hall, King’s Lynn, Norfolk
May 19 – September 26, 2021
Major works by the celebrated British sculptor Tony Cragg will go on show in the grounds and historic interiors of Houghton Hall in Norfolk, one of England’s most beautiful Palladian houses. Tony Cragg at Houghton Hall, is a survey exhibition spanning the artist’s work over the past decade with a particular focus on his most recent works, including new sculptures that have never before been shown in public. Curated by Jon Wood and the artist himself, the exhibition will include 11 large-scale bronze, stainless steel, fiberglass and polyester outdoor sculptures sited in the gardens and grounds, and more than 20 smaller pieces shown in the State rooms and gallery spaces of the house. Several new works have been made specifically for the exhibition.
A self-described ‘radical materialist’, Tony Cragg constantly explores new materials and their expressive possibilities, as well as complex relationships between the natural and material world. Nature with all its structures, from micro to macro, has been the dominant theme of Tony Cragg’s work over the past ten years. Tony Cragg, said: ‘Sculpture gives us new forms, new ideas and new emotions. It literally gives things meaning and opens new perspectives.’
Tony Cragg has been working and exhibiting since 1969. He participated in documenta 7 and 8 and represented Britain at the Biennale in Venice in 1988. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 1988, the prestigious Praemium Imperiale Award, Tokyo in 2007 and the Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award in 2017. He has lived in Wuppertal, Germany, since 1977. He held professorships in the Akademie der Künste in Berlin and Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where he was director from 2009 to 2013. He has exhibited extensively in museums worldwide: Tate Gallery, London (1988), Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven and Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Duesseldorf (1989), Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh and Musée du Louvre, Paris (2011), Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg (2013), Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal and Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg (2016) and Boboli Gardens, Florence (2019)
Houghton Hall was built by Sir Robert Walpole, Great Britain’s first Prime Minister in around 1722. Designed by prominent Georgian architects Colen Campbell and James Gibbs, it is one of the country’s finest examples of Palladian architecture. Houghton and its estate passed to the Cholmondeley family at the end of the 18th Century and remains a family home. The house and award-winning gardens have been open to the public since 1976. The exhibition is presented by the Houghton Arts Foundation. HAF continues to build a collection of contemporary art in the grounds of Houghton Hall, including a number of site-specific commissions. With links to colleges and public institutions across the region, the Foundation’s aim is for Houghton to become a focus for those who wish to see great art of our time in a historic setting.