MONTREAL.- The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
welcomes to its collection the bronze sculpture Sharing (2005) by the British artist Tony Cragg, thanks to the generosity of Jacques and Céline Lamarre.
Tony Cragg first came to international prominence in the early 1980s with a body of work that explored the sculptural possibilities of everyday objects that he rearranged into sculptural forms, ranging from figures to landscapes to the British Union Jack. In so doing, he endowed these cast-offs with new life in the aim of forcing his viewers not only to consider what they throw away, but also to examine their relationship to materials, both natural and man-made. By the end of the decade, Cragg had moved away from using recycled or in his words, "processed" materials in his practice and began to focus on making work with "raw" materials, notably bronze and carved wood.
One of five unique bronze versions of this work, Sharing (2005) represents a continuation of the corpus started in the late '80s, in which Cragg began to use perforated steel to underscore the membranous qualities of his sculptures. This work is technically a combined portrait of three members of Cragg's team bound in the shared skin of the continuous perforated bronze. But, as a bringing together of three heads, three minds, in a material that allows for free passage of the intangible, Sharing might also be understood as part of Cragg's enduring exploration of the porousness of human thought. "Positive or negative are we constructed as much from what we are as from what we take in," said the artist (Tony Cragg: Signs of Life, Richter Verlag, 2003).
Shown at the Louvre in 2011 for the exhibition Tony Cragg Figure Out / Figure In, Sharing is the first work by this artist to enter the MMFA collection. It is on display in the galleries of contemporary art, located in Level S2 of the Jean-Noël Desmarais Pavilion.
"A unique sculpture that is emblematic of the critical motivations central to Cragg's practice, Sharing is an important contribution to the MMFA's collection of contemporary international sculpture," said Mary-Dailey Desmarais, Curator of International Modern and Contemporary Art, MMFA.
Born in Liverpool, England, in 1949, Sir Anthony Douglas Cragg, better known as Tony Cragg, is one of the most important and influential sculptors of our time. Since his first major retrospective in London in 1987, he has been featured in major monographic exhibitions throughout Europe, North America and Asia. His art has been collected by the most prominent institutions in the world. In 1988, Tony Cragg was awarded the prestigious Turner Prize, and in 1992 he was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in France. Cragg was appointed Royal Academician in London in 1994, Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2002 and Knight Bachelor in 2016.