New York

Tony Cragg

Marian Goodman Gallery | New York

Complete Omnivor, 1993, one of the more disturbingly persuasive of Tony Cragg’s new sculptures, presents us with what appears to be a full set of human teeth—molars and all, scaled-up enormously and cast in plaster—displayed on a rudimentary wood-and-metal armature in anatomically correct order. The artist’s self-portrait, perhaps, or maybe a perverse reflection on the archaeology of dentistry.

Shuttling things from the known to the unknown and back again might be an adequate characterization of the contemplative “dialectic” that Cragg’s work invariably sets in motion. It’s now rather easy to identify this British sculptor’s recurring formal tendencies and conceptual motifs. Since becoming known to New York audiences in the early ’80s, Cragg has demonstrated a penchant for taking the so-called everyday object and doing something to it (to paraphrase Jasper Johns), or supplanting

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