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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sculptor Sir Anthony Caro dies


Sculptor Sir Anthony Caro dies

Sir Anthony Caro with his sculpture Milbank Steps 2004Sir Anthony Caro with his sculpture Milbank Steps 2004 at The Tate Britain
British sculptor Sir Anthony Caro has died of a heart attack at the age 89, his family has confirmed.
Sir Anthony was widely regarded as the greatest British sculptor of his generation and worked as an assistant to Henry Moore in the 1950s.
Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota called him "one of the outstanding sculptors of the past 50 years".
Among his many prizes was 2008's Jack Goldhill Award for Sculpture for his piece Promenade.
Awarded by the Royal Academy of Arts, the £10,000 prize goes to the creator of "an outstanding piece of sculpture".
The artist had vowed to keep working until he was 100, as he unveiled his most recent exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery in London in June.
Sir Anthony Caro was a gentle man with a pioneering spirit.
Taking the radical step in the early 60s of removing the plinth in sculpture and instead placing his work directly on the ground not only changed our relationship with the artwork but the future direction of sculpture itself.
Sir Anthony played a pivotal role in the development of 20th Century sculpture, after first coming to public attention with a show at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1963.
There, he exhibited large abstract sculptures, such as Early One Morning (1962), which were brightly painted and stood directly on the ground to engage the spectator on a one-to-one basis.
It was a radical departure from the way sculpture had been seen in the past and paved the way for future developments in three-dimensional art.
"Anthony Caro was a man of great humility and humanity whose abundant creativity, even as he approached the age of 90, was still evident in the most recent work shown in exhibitions in Venice and London earlier this year," said Sir Nicholas Serota.
He was born in Surrey in 1924 and studied engineering at Christ's College Cambridge, before going on to specialise in sculpture at the Royal Academy Schools in London until 1952.
Sir Anthony then went on to influence others as a teacher at St Martin's School of Art in London from 1953 to 1981.
There he inspired a younger generation of British sculptors including Phillip King, Tony Cragg, Barry Flanagan, Richard Long and Gilbert & George.
Will Gompertz talks to Sir Anthony Caro in 2011 about Early One Morning: His 1962 sculpture that helped change the face of art
His work, which questioned assumptions about form, material and subject matter in sculpture, can currently be seen in a major exhibition at The Museo Correr in Venice until 27 October.
During his career Sir Anthony was also awarded the Praemium Imperiale for Sculpture in Tokyo in 1992 and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Sculpture in 1997.
He was knighted in 1987 and received the Order of Merit in May 2000, which recognises great achievement in the fields of the arts, learning, literature and science.
With Norman Foster he co-designed London's landmark Millennium Bridge in 2000, and he was the subject of a major retrospective at Tate Britain in 2005.
In 1949 he married the painter Sheila Girling, with whom he had two sons and three grandchildren.