Reading the Streets: Tony Cragg’s bronze works
NEW YORK – Tony Cragg’s sculptures, the latest in Madison Square Park’s Mad Square Art series, defied my mind’s futile attempts at categorization. At first I thought Caldera, the bronze behemoth that greeted me as I entered Madison Square Park from 23rd Street was a giant, solid beard, like that of an ancient king whose sedentary life eliminated the need for shaving.
Cragg aims to make bronze a more malleable material, less imposing, more flexible and open minded. I neglected to remember this as my mind performed gymnastics trying to categorize and label what I was seeing. All that thinking was preventing me from the best part, which was walking under, in and around the sculpture, looking up to the leaves and the sun on a beautiful fall day.
Sense regained, I walked east to Points of View, three swirls of twisted bronze sitting ever so calmly on the Oval Lawn, like waves plucked out of the ocean, The lawn was closed when I visited, but I imagined kids and dogs running around them, and me, just sitting in the grass enjoying the sculpture’s company.
At the northern end of the park is Mixed Feelings, also made of bronze, but painted blue, which resembles series of loosely tossed Frisbees, possibly neglected park- goers, realizing it might soon be too cold for a game.
Tony Cragg’s sculptures will be on view in Madison Square Park through Feb. 8. I’m looking forward to seeing how they look in the snow.
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