Sculptor Anthony Caro in conversation with Julius Bryant, Keeper of Word & Image at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Few men have had a bigger influence over their field than Sir Anthony Caro. This is a fascinating chance to hear arguably Britain’s most respected sculptor in conversation with the Yale Center for British Art. Caro’s work has played a pivotal role in the development of twentieth century sculpture and the repercussions of his radical approach to art are still felt today. The book Caro: Close Up documents the artist’s oeuvre; spanning works on paper, sculptures and abstract works of steel, bronze and clay. A series of authors then explore the ways the sculptor has used the physical properties of his materials, while Caro himself discusses his exhibition and installation practices.
“Making sculpture is a kind of conversation”.
After studying sculpture at the Royal Academy Schools in London, Anthony Caro worked as assistant to Henry Moore. He came to public attention with a show at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1963, where he exhibited large abstract sculptures brightly painted and standing directly on the ground so that they engage the spectator on a one-to-one basis. This was a radical departure from the way sculpture had hitherto been seen and paved the way for future developments in three-dimensional art.
Caro’s 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.
Caro often works in steel, but also in a diverse range of other materials, including bronze, silver, lead, stoneware, wood and paper. Major exhibitions include retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1975), the Trajan Markets, Rome (1992), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (1995), Tate Britain, London (2005), and three museums in Pas-de-Calais, France (2008), to accompany the opening of his Chapel of Light at Bourbourg. He has been awarded many prizes, including the Praemium Imperiale for Sculpture in Tokyo in 1992 and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Sculpture in 1997. He holds many honorary degrees from universities in the UK, USA and Europe. He was knighted in 1987 and received the Order of Merit in May 2000.
“How you set about it is a secret, if you get that right you’re half way there”