Last Updated on May 1, 2024

Internationally renowned sculptor Tony Cragg presents a landmark exhibition at Castle Howard this summer. Tony Cragg at Castle Howard (3 May – 22 September 2024) is the first major exhibition by a leading contemporary artist to be held across the house and grounds of the historic estate. Castle Howard is Britain’s most famous country house, recognised by millions across the world as the location for Brideshead Revisited and Bridgerton. Its setting is amongst the most spectacular of any building in the UK and one of the most historically significant in Europe.

The exhibition features new and recent sculptures, many of which are being presented in the UK for the first time, including large-scale works in bronze, stainless steel, aluminium and fibreglass installed across the Grounds. Inside the house are works in bronze and wood, as well as a selection of glass sculptures, presented alongside Cragg’s works on paper.

Sculptures are displayed in the Great Hall, the Garden Hall, the High South, the Octagon and the Colonnade.

“The invitation to do an exhibition at Castle Howard in Yorkshire is a special one and I am delighted to present work here,” Cragg said. “Within the beautiful landscape and historical architecture of this place, between nature and history, it is interesting to see where new and contemporary forms find a place and what role they might play.”

Cragg’s magnificent 5m-wide sculpture Over the Earth (2015) is set on a plinth in the middle of the Ray Wood reservoir, the first time a work has been displayed at this location. It is the first time the work has been shown outside, and the first time it has been shown in the UK. 

Eroded Landscape (1999) is displayed inside Castle Howard’s celebrated Temple of the Four Winds.

Other works shown across the grounds include Senders (2018), Points of View (2018) and Versus (2015).

Two brand new works by Cragg are also on display outside at Castle Howard. Industrial Nature (2024) is an aluminium sculpture that suggests hybrid forms that are both grown and made by machines. Masks (2024) is a bronze sculpture of two forms, sliding tightly into each other to create an image of inseparability.  These works are installed on the South and North side of Castle Howard, respectively.

“Tony Cragg’s passionate curiosity about materials and the complex lives of form always shine through his work. For him, sculpture is an amazing means of investigation that can shape human understandings of the world better than any other art form,” exhibition curator Dr. Jon Wood said. “His works are always dynamic, animated by movement, change and transformation. Works like Over the Earth, Runner and Versus sit compellingly in the grounds of Castle Howard – with its wonderful gardens, woods and lakes, historic interiors and collection of antique sculpture – inviting us to see the past through the present and to look at the world afresh.”

'Versus,' Bronze, 2015. Tony Cragg at Castle Howard.
‘Versus,’ Bronze, 2015. Tony Cragg at Castle Howard. Photo by Michael Richter

Tony Cragg at Castle Howard celebrates the artist’s sculptural imagination, showing the fascinating ways in which his sculpture sits within historic landscape and architectural settings. The exhibition also highlights the diverse ways and materials he uses and the important role drawing plays in helping Cragg explore his ideas and develop his sculptural thinking. It demonstrates the importance of sculpture as an art form today, giving audiences surprising, hybrid forms that challenge thoughts and emotions.

A catalogue, coordinated by Wood, includes a selection of artist statements, short texts and a wide range of photographs of the exhibition.

“We’ve always loved the work of Tony Cragg and are therefore delighted that the first contemporary sculpture exhibition at Castle Howard should be dedicated to him,” Victoria and Nicholas Howard, operators and residents of Castle Howard, said. “Castle Howard is renowned for its wonderful collection of classical sculpture, and it is fascinating to see how Cragg’s work interplays with the collection and highlights the wonder and relevance of this art form for today’s audiences.” 

About the Artist

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 since 1977.

Castle Howard

Castle Howard is a stately home in North Yorkshire, England, 15 miles north of York. Set in the Howardian Hills National Landscape, Castle Howard is a private residence and has been home to the Howard family for more than 300 years.

Castle Howard was commissioned by the 3rd Earl of Carlisle in 1699 and took over 100 years to complete. Successive generations have welcomed visitors to the House and it was first opened to the public by George Howard in 1952. Visitors can expect dramatic interiors and world-renowned art collections inside the House. The Gardens offer extensive woodland walks, temples, lakes and fountains with an adventure playground for the younger visitors to burn off steam.

Castle Howard welcomes more than 270,000 visitors per year,

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