New to the Collection: Anthony Cragg, ‘Spyrogyra’

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Anthony Cragg (British, active Germany, born 1949), Spyrogyra. Iron; machine-blown bottles, sandblasted; assembled, 1996. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Roy S. O'Connor, 2015.39

Anthony Cragg (British, active Germany, born 1949), Spyrogyra. Iron; machine-blown bottles, sandblasted; assembled, 1996. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Roy S. O’Connor, 2015.39

Spyrogyra is named for a thread-like species of green algae, a type of thin seaweed with a spiral arrangement of the chloroplasts that populate its undulating structure. While the shape and structure of Tony Cragg’s sculpture also seems to reference French Dadaist Marcel Duchamp’s famous Bottle Rack from 1914, Cragg’s playful work draws inspiration from his observation that science ultimately provides neither the truth nor objectivity.

The freedom to use any found material for the making of art, as claimed by Duchamp, is translated by Cragg into infinite possibilities for combining materials and processes in order to conjure new and provocative objects. Here, he uses mass-produced bottles that have been stripped of their original utility as commercial containers. They were selected to represent a diverse range of color and size, their surfaces changed through sand-blasting to gem-like translucence.


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