Anthony Caro 1924-2013

Anthony Caro was born in Surrey in 1924. He attended Charterhouse School, Godalming before studying engineering at Christ's College, Cambridge (1942-44). He began his sculptural studies at Regent Street Polytechnic between 1946 and 1947, and from 1947 until 1952 he received formal academic training at the Royal Academy, London. He won two silver medals and a bronze medal in 1948, and between 1951 and 1953 he worked as an assistant for Henry Moore. From 1953 until the early 1980s he taught part time at St. Martin's School of Art, London, teaching the likes of Richard Deacon, Gilbert & George, Richard Long and William Tucker. He was included in a 1955 'New Painters and Painter-Sculptors' exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, creating expressionistic, dynamic figures frequently modelled in clay or plaster. His first trip to the USA on a Ford Foundation English Speaking Union grant in 1959, during which he met the Minimalist sculptor David Smith, as well as the Abstract Expressionist painters Helen Frankenthaler and Kenneth Noland, was to have a profound influence upon his work. He made the transition from bronze and clay - materials well suited to the production of sensual forms - to steel, the strength of which led to a hardening and simplification of his forms. Caro cut out and assembled simple geometric forms that are comparable with certain paintings by Kenneth Noland but most particularly with the work of David Smith. During this period he created some of his most iconic large-scale steel sculptures, but his career has spanned multiple apexes including his idiomatic table sculptures.

 

His work has been exhibited throughout the world, including at the 1966 Venice Biennale, the seminal 'Primary Structures' exhibition in New York of the same year, a retrospective at the Hayward Gallery, London in 1969, a 1975 retrospective at MoMA, New York, his largest ever retrospective in 1995 opened the Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art and exhibitions all around the world, including at Tate Britain, to mark his 80th birthday in 2004. Caro was awared numerous honorary memberships and fellowships of Art Academies and Institutions around the World throughout his career, culminating in the bestowment of the Order of Merit in 2000.