(1924 - 2013)
Anthony Caro was active/lived in Vermont, New York / England. Anthony Caro is known for large-scale abstract, constructivist sculpture, asssemblage, teaching.
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Biography from the Archives of askART
Anthony Caro was born in Surrey, England in 1924. He is said to
be a pivotal figure in the development of sculpture in the 20th
century. After studying sculpture at the Royal Academy Schools in
London he worked as assistant to Henry Moore.
Biography from the Archives of askART
early years, when he worked mostly with clay and bronze, he first came
to prominence with a show at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1963.
There he exhibited large brightly painted abstract sculptures that
stood directly on the floor and which engaged the spectator directly on
a one-to-one basis. This was a radical departure from the way
sculpture had previously been seen. His sculpture is usually made
in steel, but he also works in a diverse range of materials including
bronze, silver, lead, paper, clay, stoneware and wood.
taught for two years at Bennington College, Vermont, USA, and for many
years at St. Martin's School of Art in London, where his students
included Philip King, Barry Flanagan, Richard Long, Gilbert &
George and Richard Deacon. Both his innovative sculpture and the
questioning approach of his teaching opened up many new possibilities
both formally and with regard to subject matter. "This led to a
flowering and a new confidence in sculpture worldwide".
teaching at St Martin's School of Art in London (1953-1981) was very
influential. His questioning approach opened up new
possibilities, both formally and with regard to subject matter.
His innovative work as well as his teaching led to a flowering and a
new confidence in sculpture worldwide.
Major exhibitions include
a one-man retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1975,
Sculpture into Architecture at the Tate Gallery in 1991, further
retrospectives at the Trajan Markets, Rome, in 1992 and the Museum of
Contemporary Art, Tokyo, in 1995, Sculpture from Painting at the
National Gallery, London, in 1998 and The Last Judgement at the Venice
Biennale in 1999.
Caro was part of the design team for the Millennium Bridge across the Thames between St Paul's Cathedral and Tate Modern.
has been awarded numerous prizes including the Premium Imperiale for
Sculpture in Tokyo in 1992 and holds honorary degrees from many
universities, including Yale and Cambridge. He is a honorary
member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters, the American
Academy of Arts & Sciences and the Brera Academy in Milan. He
was knighted in 1987 and received the Order of Merit in May 2000.
Anthony Caro from January 2004. Seoul Museum of Art, Korea.
Caro - Terracottas from January 2004. Garth Clarke Gallery, New York, USA.
Caro from April 2004. Josine Bokhoven Gallery, Amsterdam, Holland.
Anthony Caro from May 2004. Museum Wurth, Kunzelsau, Germany.
Anthony Caro from June 2004 Constantine Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore, USA.
Anthony Caro from January 2005, major retrospective at Tate Britain, London.
Anthony Caro from June 2005. IVAM, Valencia, Spain.
Siri Fischer Hansen, Archivist for the Artist, who also provides the following chronology:
1924 Born 8 March, New Malden, Surrey, son of Alfred and Mary Caro, both families from Norwich, father a stockbroker
1937-42 Attends Charterhouse School, Godalming, Surrey
1942-44 Studies engineering at Christ's College, Cambridge
During vacations attends Farnham School of Art and works in studio of sculptor Charles Wheeler RA
1944-46 Serves in Fleet Air Arm of Royal Navy
1946-47 Attends Regent Street Polytechnic, studies sculpture with Geoffrey Deeley
Receives strict academic training at Royal Academy Schools, London,
taught by different sculptor Royal Academicians (MacWilliam, Hardiman,
Charoux and Maurice Lambert)
Studies and copies Greek, Etruscan, Romanesque and Gothic sculpture
1948 Awarded two silver medals (clay figure modelling, carving) and one bronze medal (composition) from Royal Academy Schools
1949 Marries the painter Sheila Girling (two sons Timothy 1951, Paul 1958)
1951-53 Moves to Much Hadham, Hertfordshire with wife and family to
work as part-time assistant to Henry Moore. Continues to draw from the
model at Royal Academy Schools
Teaches two days weekly at St Martin's School of Art, London; students
include David Annesley, Michael Bolus, Richard Deacon, David Evison,
Barry Flanagan, Hamish Fulton, Gilbert & George, Brower Hatcher,
Peter Hide, Phillip King, Richard Long, Tim Scott, William Tucker and
Joins Frank Martin, Head of Sculpture Department, in reorganising the
department and developing the curriculum. Integrates sculpture and
drawing into a single class with a view to understanding rather than
copying the subject.
Family moves to Hampstead
Makes figurative sculpture in clay and plaster, sometimes cast in bronze, such as Man Holding His Foot (1954)
During summer vacations at Porlock, Somerset, makes moulds of rocks and
cliff outcroppings, which are incorporated along with pebbles and
stones into figurative sculptures
Two figurative sculptures included in group exhibition 'New Painters
and Painter-Sculptors', Institute of Contemporary Art, London
1956 First one-man exhibition at Galleria del Naviglio, Milan; twenty
sculptures shown, expressionist figures and heads modelled in clay or
plaster, including Woman Waking Up (1955)
1957 First one-man exhibition in London: Gimpel Fils Gallery
1958 Man Taking Off His Shirt (1955/56) exhibited at the Venice Biennale
First Paris Biennale for young artists; sculptures exhibited include Woman with Flowers (1958) and Woman On Her Back (1951).
Awarded prize for sculpture, which enables him to visit Carnac, Brittany where he studies the primitive menhirs and dolmens
Tate Gallery purchases Woman Waking Up (1955)
Meets Clement Greenberg in London; subsequent conversations and
studio visits over many years are a great influence on his approach and
his attitude to art
Visits USA for the first time on Ford Foundation English Speaking Union grant;
Meets sculptor David Smith and painter Kenneth Noland, as well as
Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Richard Diebenkorn, Ed Keinholz
and other New York and West Coast painters
1960 In London makes first abstract sculptures in steel, starting with Twenty Four Hours (1961), now in the Tate Gallery collection
Radical change in his ideas forces him to rethink his
teaching methods. Frank Martin sets up a welding shop at St Martin's;
experimental atmosphere in school and working relationship with
students provide forum for stimulating exchanges
1961 Makes first polychrome sculpture, Sculpture Seven (1961)
the only sculpture, (1961), in 'New London Situation', an exhibition of
'situation paintings' selected by Lawrence Alloway and held at
Marlborough New London Gallery
1963 Large one-man exhibition of fifteen abstract steel sculptures
at Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, organised by its director, Bryan
Sculptures exhibited include Twenty Four Hours (1961), Midday (1960), Sculpture Seven (1961), Early One Morning (1962), Month of May (1963) and Pompadour (1963)
Included in group show at Kasmin Limited, London.
Kasmin continues to show Caro's work regularly: solo exhibitions 1965,
1967, 1971, 1972 and (under the name of Knoedler Gallery) 1978, 1982,
1983, 1984, 1986, 1989, 1991
1963-65 Teaches at Bennington College, Bennington, Vermont: other
members of faculty include painters Jules Olitski, Paul Feeley and
Renews contact with Noland and Smith who live nearby
Noland suggests Caro works in series, which he has done many times since
Large garage belonging to the Bennington College Fire Department made
available for Caro's use as a temporary studio and he produces a number
of works, including Titan (1964) and Bennington (1964)
1964 First one-man exhibition in New York at André Emmerich
Gallery; five sculptures shown include Prospect (1964). Emmerich
continues to exhibit Caro's work regularly: solo exhibitions in New
York 1968, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982 (twice),
1984, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1994 and at Galerie André Emmerich,
Zürich, in 1974,1978, 1985
Exhibits Month of May (1963) and Hopscotch (1962) at Documenta III, Kassel, Germany
1965 Exhibits Early One Morning (1962) in group show
entitled 'British Sculpture in the Sixties' at the Tate Gallery,
London, organised by the Contemporary Art Society; CAS presents Early
One Morning to the Tate Gallery collection
Exhibition at Washington Gallery of Modern Art, Washington DC, includes Twenty Four Hours (1960), Sculpture Seven (1961) and Prospect (1964)
For the next two decades visits USA 3-4 times a year, usually working there for about a month each time
1966 Exhibits at Venice Biennale in the British Pavilion with
painters Richard Smith, Harold Cohen, Bernard Cohen and Robyn Denny in
exhibition entitled 'Five Young British Artists'
Exhibits in 'Primary Structures: Younger American and British
Sculptors' at the Jewish Museum, New York, organized by Kynaston
Following conversation with Michael Fried begins to make small
sculptures, using handles and coming over the edge of the table; calls
these Table Pieces
In larger works such as Red Splash (1966) and The Window (1966/67) incorporates grills and mesh screens
1967 Retrospective exhibition at Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, Holland
Acquires stock of raw materials from estate of the late David Smith
Exhibits Prairie (1967) and Deep Body Blue (1967) at Kasmin Ltd, London
1968 Development of table sculptures; incorporates steel table-height surfaces into large scale sculptures including Trefoil (1968)
Exhibits Titan (1964) in 'Noland, Louis and Caro', Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
1969 Retrospective exhibition at Hayward Gallery, London,
consisting of fifty works made 1954-1968, organized by Joanna Drew,
with a catalogue essay by Michael Fried
Exhibits, with John Hoyland, in British Section of Tenth São Paulo Biennale
Moves studio to former piano factory in Camden Town, London
Patrick Cunningham becomes Caro's studio assistant in London
Purchases parts of agricultural machinery, including plough shares
and propeller blades, which are used in sculptures incorporating
different levels, including Orangerie (1969) and Sun Feast (1969)
1970 Works each year for short periods at Kenneth Noland's studio
at Shaftsbury, Vermont, assisted by James Wolfe and later Willard
Makes unpainted steel sculptures where the rusted steel is varnished or waxed, such as The Bull (1970)
Exhibits Pink Stack (1969) in the exhibition 'Contemporary British Art' at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
Exhibits Orangerie and Sun Feast at André Emmerich Gallery, New York; Sun Feast bought by Lewis Cabot, who becomes an important collector of Caro works
1971 Invited to judge Perth Prize at 1971 Drawing International at Western Australia Art Gallery, Perth
Travels around the world with his family visiting Mexico, New
Zealand, Australia and India, lecturing at art schools and universities
1972 Makes series of seven rusted steel sculptures, the Straight series, based on the H-beam
Works at Ripamonte factory in Veduggio, Brianza, with James Wolfe
as assistant; makes fourteen sculptures using soft edge roll end steel
1973 Obtains soft edge roll end steel from Consett, County Durham, England; makes Durham Purse and Durham Steel Flat (1973/74)
Museum of Modern Art, New York, acquires Midday (1960)
1974 Works at York Steel Company factory in Toronto; makes large
sculptures using heavy steel handling equipment such as mobile cranes,
assisted by sculptors James Wolfe, Willard Boepple and André Fauteux.
Returning many times over the next two years completes 37 sculptures, later known as the Flats series, including Lake Ontario Flats (1974), Pin Up Flat (1974), Scorched Flats (1974) and Surprise Flats (1974)
1975 Retrospective exhibition at Museum of Modern Art, New York
(which later travels to Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Museum of Fine
Art, Houston and Museum of Fine Art, Boston)
Works in ceramic clay at workshop organised by Margie Hughto at Syracuse University, New York.
1976 Presented with key to the City of New York by Mayor Abraham Beame
1977 Retrospective exhibition of table sculptures organized by The
British Council tours to Israel, Australia, New Zealand and Germany
Artist in residence at Emma Lake summer workshop, University of
Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, using tubular steel in a linear mode.
Sculptures made there, later known as the Emma series, include Emma Dipper (1977, now in the Tate Gallery collection) and Emma Dance (1977/78)
1978 Makes first 'writing pieces': small calligraphic sculptures in steel, often including tools or other utensils
Experience of working with clay leads to the use of clay parts cast in bronze welded directly to plate bronze and brass
Executes commission for architect I M Pei's new East Wing building of the National Gallery, Washington, DC
1980 Makes a series of bronze screens
Invited by Rodger Mack to
work in bronze at Can Company factory, converted into sculpture
department of Syracuse University; makes Can Co series and Water Street
Begins series of lead and wood sculptures
1981 Makes series of sculptures in handmade paper, mostly wall reliefs, with Ken Tyler at Tyler Graphics, New York
Exhibits 12 large steel sculptures at Städtische Galerie, Frankfurt, later travelling to Saarland Museum, Saarbrücken, Germany
1982 Delivers William Townsend Memorial Lecture on sculpture at University College, London
Together with Robert Loder organises the first Triangle Workshop
for thirty sculptors and painters from USA, England and Canada at Pine
Plains, New York; over the years artists from many countries attend.
Participates annually thereafter until 1991, when leadership is handed
over to Willard Boepple, Jon Isherwood and Karen Wilkin
Paints in acrylic at Helen Frankenthaler's studio in New York
1984 60th Birthday solo exhibition at Serpentine Gallery, London,
organised by The Arts Council; later tours to Whitworth Art Gallery,
University of Manchester, Leeds City Art Gallery, Ordrupgaardsamlingen,
Copenhagen, Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf and Fundacio Joan Miró, Barcelona
Completes first sculpture with an architectural dimension where the
spectator is invited to enter the work and experience its inner space: Child's Tower Room (1983/84) in Japanese oak; shown in the Arts Council touring exhibition 'Four Rooms', which opens at Liberty's, London
1985 Builds a barn at Ancram, New York state, to be used as US studio
Jon Isherwood becomes Caro's US studio assistant
Guest leader at sculptors' workshop at Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht
Delivers Delia Heron Lecture, Falmouth School of Art
Visits Greece for the first time
1986 Completes Scamander (1985/86) and Rape of the Sabines (1985/86), in a series of sculptures inspired by Greek pediments
1987 Leads 'Stahl 87' workshop at the Werkstatt Berlin
Creates large bronze sculpture, Chicago Fugue (1986/87), for John Buck Company, South Lasalle Street, Chicago
At Triangle Workshop at Pine Plains, New York works with Frank Gehry on architectural/sculptural 'village'
Participates in special Triangle workshop in Barcelona and starts Barcelona series, which he later returns to Spain to finish
Delivers the Contemporary Art Society's Fourth Annual Lecture, 'The Artist's Method', at Tate Gallery, London
Makes After Olympia (1986/87) in London, his largest sculpture to date
1988 After Olympia (1986/87) is installed on roof garden of Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, for duration of the summer
Concludes investigation of pediment-inspired works with Xanadu (1986/88)
Starts series of 33 table sculptures made from steel elements
brought back from the Barcelona workshop to London studio; calls these
the Catalan series
1989 Exhibits selection from the Barcelona and Catalan series at the Sala de Exposiciones del Banco Bilbao Vizcaya, Barcelona
Retrospective exhibition at Walker Hill Art Center, Seoul; visits Korea and India
Attends steel sculpture workshop, University of Alberta, Edmonton, and bronze workshop at Red Deer College, Alberta
Begins working on the Cascades series of 14 table sculptures, which often involve the floor and even the wall
First solo show at Annely Juda Fine Art, London, entitled Aspects
of Anthony Caro; subsequent solo exhibitions in 1991, 1994, 1998 and
1990 Completes work on Night Movements (1987/90), a single work in four separate units, now in the Tate Gallery collection
Visits Japan and at Nagatani's workshop, Obama, starts series of paper sculptures, later completed in England
1991 Completes two sculptures involving a dialogue with architecture: Sea Music
(1991) for the quayside in Poole, Dorset, and Tower of Discovery (1991)
Exhibition of four recent large sculptures in the Duveen Galleries of the Tate Gallery, London: After Olympia, Tower of Discovery, Xanadu and Night Movements
Exhibits selections of the Cascades table pieces (1989/90) at Annely Juda Fine Art, London and André Emmerich Gallery, New York
1992 Retrospective exhibition in the ancient Trajan Markets, Rome, organized by Giovanni Caradente and The British Council
Tower of Discovery (1991) shown at the World Expo Fair, Seville
Obama paper works shown at Fuji Television Gallery, Tokyo
Makes Chant des montagnes (1993/94) for Musée de Grenoble, France
The British Council tours the Cascades series (1989/90) to museums
in Hungary, Romania, Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, Germany, Holland, Slovenia
Makes a series of ceramic sculptural elements at the workshop of
Hans Spinner near Grasse, France; these are later combined with wood
and steel in the London studio to form The Trojan War
1994 Caro Noland Olitski workshop, symposium and exhibition at Hartford Art School, Connecticut
1994-95 Several exhibitions organised to celebrate the artist's
70th birthday, including 'Sculpture Through Five Decades' at Annely
Juda Fine Art, London, later shown at Galerie Hans Mayer, Düsseldorf
and (in a modified version) Kukje Gallery, Seoul
One-man exhibitions at Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York, Richard
Gray Gallery, Chicago, and Constantine Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore
Exhibition of table sculptures organised by Kettle's Yard Gallery, Cambridge; later tours to Manchester and Sheffield
The Trojan War (1993/94) at the Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood, London and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield
Major sculpture installation commissioned by the Henry Moore
Sculpture Trust for the Henry Moore Studio at Dean Clough, Halifax:
Halifax Steps - Ziggurats and Spirals (1994) further explore the
dialogue between sculpture and architecture
1995 Caro's largest
retrospective exhibition of 113 works opens the new Museum of
Contemporary Art, Tokyo; curated by Yasuyoshi Saito with architectural
settings specially designed by Tadao Ando
1996 Goodwood Steps (1996) displayed at the Hat Hill Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood, until 1998, then at Chicago Navy Pier, Chicago
Shown along with Chillida, Jacobsen, Luginbühl in 'Plätze und Platzzeichen' at Museum Würth, Künzelsau, Germany
1996-97 The Trojan War (1993/94) is shown in Greece at Thessaloniki and at the National Gallery, Athens
With the architect Norman Foster and the engineer Chris Wise wins
the competition for a new footbridge spanning the Thames from St Paul's
to Tate Modern at Bankside, London
1998 'Caro-Sculpture from Painting' exhibited at the National
Gallery, London; the first occasion a contemporary sculptor has been
invited to hold a one-man show there Exhibition of new works at Annely
Juda Fine Art, followed by exhibitions in Amsterdam, Seoul and New York
The Trojan War exhibited at the Marlborough Gallery, New York
Works in theatre for the first time, designing the sets and props
for Northern Broadsides' dramatic interpretation of Milton's Samson
Agonistes at the Viaduct Theatre, Dean Clough, Halifax (director Barrie
Rutter, costumes Sheila Girling)
1999 The Last Judgement
(1995/99) shown at 48th Venice Biennale; a 25-part sculpture in
terracotta, wood and steel, made in response to the atrocities of the
New Marlborough Gallery in Boca Raton, Florida, shows Arena Pieces
2000 Awarded Order of Merit by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Exhibition at Venice Design Gallery, Venice of works from the Concerto series (1999/2000) inspired by music
Three from the series of seven Duccio Variations in different
materials are included in Encounters exhibition at the National
The Last Judgement is the first show in the new wing of Museo des Bellas Artes, Bilbao
2001 The Last Judgement is exhibited at the Johanniter Kirchw,
Schwäbisch Hall, Germany to coincide with the opening of the new
An educational exhibition A Sculptor's Development - Anthony Caro, is shown in Lewes, Sussex and Street, Somerset
Exhibitions at Marlborough Gallery, New York and Santiago
Caro at Longside: Sculpture and Sculptitecture, exhibition of large
architectural inspired works opens new gallery space at Longside,
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
2002 Exhibitions at Galeria Metta, Madrid, Galleria Lawrence Rubin, Milan and Galeria Altair, Palma de Mallorca
Anthony Caro - L'evolution d'un sculpteur exhibition at Chateau-Musee de Dieppe, France
Anthony Caro: Drawing in Space - Sculptures from 1964 to 1988 &
The Last Judgement, 1996-99, a major survey exhibition is shown at the
famous Gaudi 'La Pedrera' building in Barcelona. The exhibition is
organized by the Caixa Catalunya who also specially created a new
exhibition space adjacent to La Pedrera to exhibit the Last Judgement
Exhibition at Venice Design Gallery of works from the Concerto series
(1999-2000) inspired by music and incorporating parts of musical
instruments as well as a new material, cast brass
Three works from the series of seven Duccio Variations (1999-2000) made
in different materials from steel and wood to iron and Perspex included
in the Encounters exhibition at the National Gallery, London
The Last Judgement inaugurates the new wing of Museo des Bellas Artes, Bilbao
Portland Museum, Oregon, which already had two Caro works in its
collection, obtained another eight with the acquisition of the Clement
2001 The Last Judgement is exhibited at the Johanniter Kirche,
Schwäbisch Hall, Germany to coincide with the opening of the new
An educational exhibition A Sculptor's Development - Anthony Caro, is
shown in Lewes, Sussex, touring to Street, Somerset and Château-Musée
de Dieppe, France (2002)
Duccio Variations, Gold Blocks and Concerto pieces exhibited at Marlborough Gallery, New York
Exhibitions at Marlborough Gallery, Santiago and Galerie Hans Mayer, Düsseldorf
Caro at Longside: Sculpture and Sculptitecture, exhibition of large
architectural inspired works opens new gallery space at Longside,
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
2002 Included in Blast to Freeze: British Art of the 20th Century at
Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg and travelling to Les Abattoirs, Toulouse
Exhibitions at Galeria Metta, Madrid, Galleria Lawrence Rubin, Milan,
Galeria Altair, Palma de Mallorca and Galerie Besson, London
Anthony Caro: Drawing in Space - Sculptures from 1964 to 1988 and The
Last Judgement shown at Gaudi's La Pedrera in Barcelona, organised by
Fundacio Caixa Catalunya
The Barbarians (1999-2002), a group of mythical horsemen assembled from
stoneware, wood and steel, is first shown at Mitchell-Innes & Nash,
2003 The Barbarians shown with works from the Paper Books series and
Europa and the Bull (2000-2002), another figurative stoneware and steel
Exhibitions at Hubert Gallery, New York (figure studies) and Galerie Joan Prats, Barcelona (works on paper)
A selection of Emma sculptures and related later work is shown at
Frederik Meijer Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, Michigan, touring to
Meadows Museum, Dallas
2004 80th birthday marked with display of Sculpture Two (1962) outside
Tate Britain and exhibitions all over the world, including Artemis
Greenberg van Doren (Nov/Dec 2003) and Garth Clark Gallery in New York,
C Grimaldis Gallery in Baltimore, Galerie Josine Bokhoven in Aamsterdam
and (early 2005) Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York and Galerie
Daniel Templon in Paris, as well as several new books, television
programmes and extensive newspaper coverage
Caro in Focus inaugurates the new Sudhaus galleries at Kunsthalle Würth, Schwäbisch Hall
The Way It Is presents 16 new works, including Caro's first monumental sculpture in stoneware, at Kenwood House, London
The Barbarians travel to the Museum of Art, Seoul
At the studio, works on galvanised, abstract sculptures which incorporate real objects
2005 Major retrospective at Tate Britain, London, covering all
principal phases of Caro's career from the 1950s to the present,
including a huge new architectural commission for the South Duveen
gallery, Millbank Steps (2004). Tours in reduced form to IVAM, Valencia
Exhibition at Galeria Metta, Madrid, focus display of works from the
Greenberg Collection at Portland Art Museum, Oregon, joint
mini-retrospective at Marc Selwyn Fine Art and Daniel Weinberg Gallery,
Los Angeles and a Manet-Caro Correspondences show at Musée d'Orsay,
The Kenwood series tours in the US under the title A Life in Sculpture
to Scripps College, California, Bentley Projects, Texas and (spring
2006) Garth Clark Gallery, New York
2006 Creates a jewellery series for Joyerias Grassy, Madrid
The Barbarians travel at IVAM, Valencia, to mark the awarding of the
International Julio Gonzàles Award of the Generalitat Valenciana
The Weekday Series shown at Galeria Altair, Palma
2007 Joint exhibition with Sheila Girling at the New Arts Centre,
Wiltshire includes 12 sculptures from the Flats series made at York
Steel Company, Toronto in 1974
Exhibition at Galleri Weinberger in Copenhagen and showing of sculptured portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, London
New galvanised work shown at Annely Juda Fine Art, London and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York
Awards and Memberships
1947 Landseer Scholarship, First Landseer Award,
Royal Academy Schools, London
1959 Sculpture Prize, First Paris Biennale
Ford Foundation English Speaking Union travel grant
1966 David E Bright Foundation Prize, Venice Biennale
1968 Honorary Doctor of Letters, University of East Anglia, England
1969 Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Prizewinner, Sao Paulo Biennale
1976 Presented with key to New York City by Mayor Abraham Beame
1979 Honorary Member of American Academy and Institute of Arts & Letters
Honorary Doctor of Letters, York University, Toronto, Canada
1981 Honorary Degree, Brandeis University, Massachusetts, USA
Honorary Fellow, Christ's College, Cambridge University, England
1981-83 Member of Council, Royal College of Art, London
1982-89 Trustee, Tate Gallery, London
1982-92 Member of Council, Slade School of Art, London
1984 Trustee, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England
1985 Honorary Doctor of Letters, Cambridge University, England
1986 Honorary Fellow , Royal College of Art, London
1987 Honorary Degree, University of Surrey, England
Knight Bachelor, Queen's Birthday Honours
1988 Honorary Foreign Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
1989 Honorary Fine Arts Degree, Yale University, Connecticut, USA
1990 Honorary Fine Arts Degree, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
1991 Honorary Fellow, Wolfson College, Oxford
The Henry Moore Grand Prize: First Nobutaka Shikanai Prize,
Hakone Open Air Museum, Tokyo, Japan
1992 Honorary Member, Accademia delle Belle Arte di Brera, Milan, Italy
Praemium Imperiale Prize for Sculpture, Japan Art Association, Tokyo
1993 Honorary Doctor of Letters, Winchester School of Art,
University of Southampton, England
1994 Honorary Doctorate, Royal College of Art, London
1996 Chevalier des Arts et Lettres, France
Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Charles de Gaulle, Lille, France
Honorary Doctor of Letters, Durham University, England
1997 Lifetime Achievement Award, International Sculpture Center, USA
Honorary Fine Arts Degree, Florida International University, USA
Honorary Fellow, Royal Institute of British Architects, London
Honorary Fellow, Royal Society of British Sculptors, London
1998 Honorary Board of Trustees, International Sculpture Center, USA
Honorary Fellow, Glasgow School of Art, Scotland
Honorary Fellow, Bretton Hall College, University of Leeds, England
1999 Honorary Doctor of Letters, University of Westminster, London
2000 Order of Merit conferred by HM Queen Elizabeth
2004 Honorary Fellowship, University of Arts, London
Senior Academician, Royal Academy of Art, London
International Award for Visual Arts, Cristobal Gabarron Foundation
2005 6th International Julio Gonzàles Award of the Generalitat Valenciana
2006 Honorary Degree, University of London
2008 AECA Gran Premio as Best Living International Artist Represented at
Following is The New York Times obituary of Anthony Caro
Biography from Hollis Taggart Galleries
By WILLIAM GRIMES
Published: October 24, 2013
Sir Anthony Caro, a pre-eminent artist of the postwar era who created a new language for abstract sculpture in the 1960s with brightly colored, horizontal assemblages of welded steel that seemed choreographed as much as constructed, died on Wednesday in London. He was 89.
The cause was a heart attack, the Tate Museum said in a statement.
"In all of modern art there have only been a handful of truly great sculptors, and Anthony Caro is one of them," said Michael Fried, a professor of art history at Johns Hopkins and one of the first critics in the United States to write about Mr. Caro. "Even more than David Smith, his great predecessor, he discovered a path to abstraction in sculpture."
A onetime assistant to Henry Moore, Mr. Caro established himself as a rising sculptor in Britain in the mid-1950s with rough-hewn, expressionistic works that depicted struggling human figures, gravity-bound and laden with the weight of their own flesh.
He experienced an artistic conversion in 1959 on a trip to the United States during which he was exposed to Mr. Smith's sculpture as well as the work of the color-field painters Kenneth Noland, Morris Louis and Jules Olitski.
"America made me see that there are no barriers and no regulations," he told the critic Lawrence Alloway in 1961.
Strongly influenced by a continuing dialogue with the critic Clement Greenberg, Mr. Caro embraced Mr. Smith's use of industrial materials that implied a radical break with the traditions of monumental sculpture.
He began working with steel plates, beams, metal tubes and wire mesh, materials with no art-historical associations. He applied brilliant color to his geometric forms, which put an emphasis on the purely pictorial qualities of his work rather than the traditional sculptural qualities of mass, weight and volume. Color imparted a sense of lightness that made his works seem to hover, touching the ground lightly at a few points.
"I have been trying to eliminate references and make truly abstract sculpture, composing the parts of the pieces like notes in music," he told William Rubin, who, as the director of the Museum of Modern Art's department of painting and sculpture, organized the first American retrospective of Mr. Caro's work in 1975.
He continued: "Just as a succession of these make up a melody or a sonata, so I take anonymous units and try to make them cohere in an open way into a sculptural whole. Like music, I would like my work to be the expression of feeling in terms of the material, and like music, I don't want the entirety of the experience to be given all at once."
Mr. Caro's articulated assemblages, derived from constructivism and Cubism, seemed to deny the time-honored premises of monumental sculpture. He took them off the traditional plinth and placed them on the floor, in the viewer's space, where their low horizontality forced the eye downward rather than upward.
Viewers had to circumnavigate a Caro, see it from all angles and let the forms, which were organized in what Mr. Fried once called a syntactic relationship, make a cumulative statement.
Mr. Caro's work evolved in unexpected ways. He abandoned color in the 1970s and began producing larger, closed forms that were often made from untreated, rolled steel, which he acquired from mills.
At the same time, he embarked on an extended series of small-scale tabletop sculptures. For a time, he created "sculpitecture" — large works that invited the viewer to enter and explore.
In the 1990s he rediscovered the human figure, mixing clay, steel and wood, in works like The Trojan War, an installation of 40 sculptures describing the heroes and gods of the Iliad, and The Last Judgment, a somber installation, inspired by the war in the Balkans, dominated by a great wooden entryway topped with a stoneware bell.
He also collaborated with celebrated architects, notably Frank Gehry, with whom he constructed a wooden village in 1987. With Norman Foster and the engineer Chris Wise, he designed the London Millennium Footbridge spanning the Thames between St. Paul's Cathedral and the Tate Modern.
Anthony Alfred Caro was born on March 8, 1924, in New Malden, Surrey, southwest of London. When he was 3, his father, a stockbroker, moved the family to a farm in Churt, Surrey.
After attending Charterhouse School, where he made sculptures in clay, he studied engineering at Christ's College, Cambridge, earning a degree in 1944.
He served in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy after leaving Cambridge. After completing his military service, he defied his father, by studying art, first at a polytechnic institute and then at the Royal Academy Schools.
In 1949 he married Sheila Girling, a painter studying at the Royal Academy. She survives him, as do their two sons, Timothy and Paul, and three grandchildren.
While at the Royal Academy, Mr. Caro was an assistant to Mr. Moore, who introduced him to a world of sculptural influences. He also began teaching twice a week at the St. Martin's School of Art, where he exerted a powerful influence on sculpture students over the next 25 years.
His early expressionist works, like Man Holding His Foot and Man Taking Off His Shirt, had an aggressive physicality that impressed critics and marked Mr. Caro as an artist to watch when he began exhibiting in the mid-1950s.
Mr. Caro chafed, however. "I had come to the end of a certain way of working; I didn't know where to go," he told Art Monthly in 1979. It was at this point that he met Mr. Greenberg, who visited his studio in London in 1959 and encouraged him to strike out in a new direction.
After visiting the United States, he produced the first of his abstract works, "Twenty Four Hours" (1960): a trapezoid, a round disc and a square arranged one behind the other.
This initial foray into abstraction led to light, open-form sculptures like Early One Morning, an arrangement of red steel planes and lines along a horizontal axis, and culminated in works like Prairie (1967), whose low-to-the ground yellow-ocher pipes alluded to the far-reaching expanses of the Midwestern landscape, and Orangerie (1969), which suggested a Matisse cutout executed in steel.
In the 1970s, he abandoned color and began producing looser, more vertical sculptures with non-geometric shapes, often using rusted and varnished steel. These included the distorted I-beams of the "Straight" series, the 14 works he made in 1972 using soft-edge scraps from a steelworks in Italy and huge sheets from the York Steel Company in Toronto that he deployed, with cranes, for the "Flats" series.
"The things that he got to live together had never lived together before," the critic John Russell wrote in The New York Times in 1975, "and there had been no reason to suppose that they would ever do so — or, for that matter, that they could be lifted clear of a utility situation."
After visiting Greece in 1985, and closely studying classical friezes, he embarked on a series of large-scale narrative works, including After Olympia, a panorama more than 75 feet long, inspired by the temple to Zeus at Olympia. First exhibited in the rooftop sculpture garden of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1988, it alludes to the humans and horses of the original in twisted and buckled steel forms. (The Metropolitan's rooftop became the setting for another Caro show, of five sculptures, in the spring of 2011.)
In pushing at the boundaries of abstraction, After Olympia reflected the restlessness that led Mr. Caro, who was knighted in 1987, to readmit figure and story into his work, most tellingly in The Trojan War and The Last Judgment, and unapologetically in The Barbarians (2002), a series of sculptures in stoneware, wood and steel depicting warriors on horseback.
"I think it's my job to try to push sculpture forward, to keep it moving, keep it alive," he told The Observer of London in 1999. "And you don't keep it alive just by doing what you can do; you keep it alive by trying to do things which are difficult."
British-born Anthony Caro has been a key practitioner of contemporary sculpture in the U.K.; "The Independent" called him "Britain's greatest living sculptor." After serving in the Royal Navy, he studied at the Royal Academy Schools. This formal academic training was complemented by the two years he spent as assistant to Henry Moore. Caro's work from the 1950s explored the figure in a manner inspired by Expressionism, in clay, plaster, and bronze, and he exhibited these pieces in group and solo shows during the decade.
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In 1959, Caro visited the United States and met Clement Greenberg, Kenneth Noland, David Smith, Robert Motherwell, and Richard Diebenkorn, among other figures in the avant-garde art world. After his return to the U.K., Caro began creating configurations of welded steel that were painted a single color. These compositions grew lighter and sparer, often employing a horizontal axis. Caro's sculpture revolutionized the avant-garde approach to the medium because he removed figurative references in favor of complete abstraction. And by placing his pieces directly on the ground instead of using pedestals—a move that simultaneously related his sculpture to a human scale and removed them conceptually from the rarefied category of high art.
In 1963, the Whitechapel Art Gallery organized a solo show of Caro's work that brought the artist important critical attention. At the same time, he began exhibiting regularly with Kasmin Limited in London for nearly 30 years. And in 1969, he began showing with André Emmerich in New York. He showed at numerous museums during the 1960s and 1970s, including the Tate Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art.
In the late 1960s, Caro worked on his so-called Table Pieces, which incorporate tools, handles, and other objects with manual references; this use of found objects has been a hallmark of his career. Caro continued exploring iconography related to labor when he purchased agricultural equipment in 1969 and used the objects, including propeller blades and plough shares, in his pieces. These projects explored a variety of metal mediums and scales, resulting in very simplified arrangements or smaller, more complex pieces. In 1993, he used clay, metal, and wood for sculptures that returned to figuration in his Trojan War series. At the same time, he continued to create enormous steel pieces.
Important to his development as a sculptor was his work as a teacher at St. Martin's School of Art in London from 1953 to 1981. Exchanges with his students, who included Hamish Fulton, Gilbert & George, and Richard Long, informed his own work in sculpture.
Caro has exhibited widely, and he was the subject of an extensive retrospective at the Tate Britain in 2005. His work is held in major collections around the world.
© Copyright 2010 Hollis Taggart Galleries
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