Sir Anthony Caro (1924 − 2013)

Caro was born in New Malden, Surrey and read engineering at Christ’s College Cambridge 1942 -1944. He served two years in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy before enrolling at the Regent Street Polytechnic, London where he studied sculpture 1946 -1947 and later at the Royal Academy Schools, London from 1947-1950. From 1951-1953 he worked as a part-time assistant to Henry Moore. He taught at St Martin's School of Art in the early 1950s and again from 1963 -1974 when his teaching methods became a catalyst for two generations of younger artists. Caro had his first solo exhibition at the Galleria del Naviliglio, Milan in 1957 and his first show in London the following year at Gimpel Fils. His work was shown in the British Pavilion at the XXXIII Venice Biennale in 1966 and at the X Bienal de São Paulo in 1969; he was a prize winner on both occasions. His first retrospective exhibition was in 1969 at the Hayward Gallery, London and his second was four years later at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 1992 a retrospective exhibition was mounted in Trajan’s Markets in Rome, and a major retrospective was organised by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo in 1995. Two large series of sculptures grew out of his immediate contact with ceramic clay in the 1990s: The Trojan War, shown first in London in 1994, and in Athens and Thessaloniki in 1997, and The Last Judgement, first shown at the XLVIII Venice Biennale in 1999. Caro was knighted in 1987 and invested with the Order of Merit in 2000. He lives and works in London.

Caro worked in a figurative tradition during the 1950s but following his first visit to the USA with a grant from the Ford Foundation in 1959, he changed his materials from bronze to steel. In a radical break with all he had done before, he began to make abstract coloured sculptures which were independent of base or pedestal so that they inhabited their own space. His achievement was to rid sculpture of any associations with objects and images from the outside world, in particular the human figure. The first major showing of the steel sculptures was in a solo exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London in 1963, with his first New York exhibition the following year. Pink Stack, 1969, is from Caro's first decade of painted steel sculpture. He stopped using colour in the early 1970s to allow the properties of the material itself to become more dominant and assert the power of the sculptural form, though he has returned to using colour on occasion since. Over the last four decades, he has worked with lead, bronze, wood, ceramic clay, aluminium and paper, but steel has remained his primary material.

In 1977 he made a group of sculptures at Emma Lake, Saskatoon, Canada. Emma Dance, 1977/78, forms part of this series. Using lighter steel sections and tubing, the Emma sculptures have a linear quality, conveying a sense of weightlessness, a notion of 'drawing in space' which has been a constant throughout his career. It is particularly apparent in many of his 'table sculptures', the earliest of which date back to 1966 when he was exploring ways for making smaller works. His answer was to introduce elements such as handles of implements, the scale of which was immediately apparent, and for the table to work with the sculpture rather than simply being used as a base or pedestal. Table works have formed a large part of Caro's total output, ranging dramatically in scale but in each case the sculpture overhangs, cascades from or grips the table.


Turning Points: 20th Century British Sculpture, British Council and Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, 2005

Further reading:
William Rubin, Anthony Caro, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1975
Karen Wilkin, Caro, Prestel Verlag, Munich, 1991
Seiji Oshima, Tadayasu Sakai, Yasuyoshi Saito, Anthony Caro, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, 1995
www.anthonycaro.org

Glossary (3)

  • Bronze

    A metal alloy made from copper with up to two-thirds tin, often with other small amounts of other metals. Commonly used in casting. A work cast in bronze is sometimes referred to as 'a bronze'.

  • Contemporary

    Existing or coming into being at the same period; of today or of the present. The term that designates art being made today.

  • Sculpture

    A three-dimensional work of art. Such works may be carved, modelled, constructed, or cast. Sculptures can also be described as assemblage, in the round, relief, and made in a huge variety of media. Contemporary practice also includes live elements, as in Gilbert & George 'Living Sculpture' as well as broadcast work, radio or sound sculpture.

Work Theme

Portfolio

Past exhibitions

GIVEN: PHILANTHROPY AND THE BRITISH COUNCIL COLLECTION

  • 2014
    • UK, London, British Council - Spring Gardens Reception

CARO AT MUSEO CORRER

  • 2013
    • Italy, Venice, Museo Correr

THE THIRD DIMENSION - MUNSTERLAND FESTIVAL 2011

  • 2011
    • Germany, Emsdetten, GALERIE MUNSTERLAND

THE THIRD DIMENSION

  • 2009
    • UK, London, Whitechapel Art Gallery

LONG DISTANCE INFORMATION

  • 2008
    • Kazakhstan, Almaty, State Museum Of Fine Arts
    • Pakistan, Islamabad, PCNA - National Art Gallery
    • Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bengal Gallery Of Fine Arts

METAMORPHOSIS: BRITISH ARTS OF THE SIXTIES

  • 2005
    • Greece, Andros, Basil And Elise Goulandris Foundation Museum Of Contemporary Art

TURNING POINTS 20TH CENTURY BRITISH SCULPTURE

  • 2004
    • Iran, Tehran, Museum Of Contemporary Art

PRE-COLUMBIAN AND 20TH CENTURY ART

  • 2002
    • Ireland, Letterkenny, Glebe House and Gallery

LE MUSEE A L'HEURE ANGLAISE

  • 1999
    • France, Valenciennes, Musee Des Beaux Arts

A CHANGED WORLD

  • 2000
    • Malta, Valletta, St James Cavalier Centre For Creativity
    • Cyprus, Nicosia, Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre
  • 1999
    • Zimbabwe, Harare, National Gallery Of Zimbabwe
  • 1998
    • Zimbabwe, Bulawayo, National Gallery Of Zimbabwe In Bulawayo
    • South Africa, Cape Town, South African National Gallery
    • South Africa, Johannesburg, Johannesburg Art Gallery
  • 1997
    • Pakistan, Lahore, The Old Fort
    • Pakistan, Karachi, Hindu Gymkhana

TREASURE ISLAND

  • 1997
    • Portugal, Lisbon, Gulbenkian Foundation

A CHANGING WORLD 50 YEARS OF SCULPTURE FROM THE BRITISH COUNCIL COLLECTION

  • 1996
    • Germany, Essen, Folkwang Museum
    • Morocco, Casablanca, Espace Wafabank
  • 1995
    • Czech Republic, Prague, Riding Hall, Prague Castle
    • Russia, Moscow, New Tretyakov Museum
  • 1994
    • Russia, St Petersburg, The Russian Museum

ANTHONY CARO THE CASCADES SCULPTURES

  • 1996
    • Slovakia, Bratislava, Slovak National Gallery
    • Slovakia, Nitra, Nitra State Gallery
  • 1995
    • Slovenia, Ljubljana, Moderna Galerija
    • Germany, Halle, Staatliche Galerie Mortizburg
    • Netherlands, Breda, Museum De Beyerd
  • 1994
    • Greece, Thessaloniki, Municipal Gallery
    • Greece, Athens, Cycladic Museum
    • Cyprus, Nicosia, Skali' Cultural Centre
    • Turkey, Izmir, State Painting And Sculpture Museum
    • Turkey, Ankara, State Fine Arts Gallery
    • Turkey, Istanbul, Arbank Aksanat Art Gallery

FOR A WIDER WORLD

  • 1991
    • Argentina, Buenos Aires, Museo Nacional De Bellas Artes
    • Bulgaria, Sofia, Cyril Methodius Foundation
    • Belgium, Luxembourg, Musee National D'histoire Et D'art
  • 1990
    • Ussr, Kiev, Ukrainian Museum Of Fine Art

ARTISTS' CHOICE

  • 1996
    • Albania, Tirana, National Gallery
    • Croatia, Osijek, Galerija Likovbih Umjetnosti
    • Croatia, Zagreb, British Council Office - Zagreb
  • 1993
    • Jamaica, Kingston, National Gallery Of Jamaica
  • 1992
    • Barbados, St Michael, Barbados Museum And Historical Society
    • Barbados, St Michael, Central Bank Gallery
  • 1990
    • Colombia, Colombia
    • Ecuador, Ecuador
  • 1989
    • Brazil, Brazil

40 YEARS OF BRITISH SCULPTURE

  • 1992
    • Canada, Southern Alberta Art Gallery
    • Canada, Red Deer District Museum
  • 1991
    • Canada, Art Museum and National Exhibiton Centre
    • Canada, London, Regional Art And Historical Museum
  • 1990
    • Philippines, Manila, Metropolitan Museum
  • 1989
    • New Zealand, New Zealand
  • 1988
    • Cyprus, Heraklion, Heraklion
    • Egypt, Cairo, British Council Office - Cairo
  • 1987
    • Greece, Athens, British Council Office - Athens
  • 1986
    • Turkey, Turkey
    • Yugoslavia, Novi Sad, Novi Sad City Museum
    • Slovenia, Ljubljana, Moderna Galerija
    • Yugoslavia, Zagreb, Zagreb City Art Gallery
    • Yugoslavia, Skopje, Museum Of Contemporary Art
    • Yugoslavia, Belgrade, Museum Of Contemporary Art
  • 1985
    • Yugoslavia, Sarajevo, Collegium Artisticum Gallery
  • 1983
    • South Africa, South Africa
    • Botswana, Gaborone, British Council Office - Gaborone
  • 1982
    • Zimbabwe, Harare, National Gallery Of Zimbabwe
  • 1981
    • Jordan, Amman, Jordan National Gallery

BIENNALE DE PARIS '59-'73

  • 1978
    • Japan, Tokyo, Seibu Museum Of Art

ANTHONY CARO TABLE SCULPTURES 1966-1977

  • 1979
    • Germany, Munich, Lenbachhaus
    • Germany, Braunschweig, Kunstverein
    • Germany, Frankfurt, Frankfurter Kunstvererin
    • Germany, Mannheim, Kunsthalle
  • 1978
    • Australia, Perth, University of Western Australia, Undercroft Gallery
    • Australia, Art Gallery Of New South Wales
    • Australia, Hobart, Tasmanian Museum And Art Gallery
    • Australia, Melbourne, University Art Gallery
    • Australia, Newcastle, Newcastle Region Art Gallery
    • Australia, Brisbane, Queensland Art Gallery
  • 1977
    • New Zealand, Wellington, National Art Gallery
    • New Zealand, Auckland, Aukland City Art Gallery
    • Israel, Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv Museum

RETROSPECTIVE EXHIBITION OF ANTHONY CARO

  • 1973
    • UK, Norwich, Norwich Triennial Festival
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