Poole Museum
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About Caro

Photo credit: Daily Echo, Bournemouth

Sir Anthony Caro OM CBE RA 

Sir Anthony Caro (8 March 1924 – 23 October 2013) was an English abstract sculptor who is internationally recognised as “one of the greatest sculptors in the second half of the 20th century”.

He first studied sculpture at the Royal Academy Schools in London and went on to teach at St Martin’s School of Art for over 25 years. Caro was an ambitious sculptor. He described how he got a job as Henry Moore’s assistant: “I found out his address, drove out there in the afternoon, knocked on his door and said ‘Can I come in? I want to work for you.’ He said ‘You might have let me know you were coming.’ I worked for two years with Henry Moore and he was very good to me. He was my teacher, a very wise and wonderful man, he taught me about drawing and we talked a lot about art.” Caro married the painter Sheila Girling in 1949, with whom he had two sons. 


Anthony Caro (left) with artist Henry Moore. Photo credit: Barford Sculptures

“Sculpture can be anything” was Caro’s approach to art. His work is characterised by the use of old industrial metal that was painted and shaped to create new forms. He came to public attention after his first major show at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1963, where his abstract metal sculptures, welded or bolted together, were presented standing directly on the ground so that they engaged the viewer on a one-to-one basis. His focus on form was unique for his time and inspired many future developments in contemporary sculpture. 

In his later work such as ‘Sea Music’, Caro showed that he was a constant innovator. He explored the role of sculpture in relation to architecture, saying that they shared the same concerns – space, form, materials and scale – and needed to work together. His term for this was ‘sculpitecture’. Larger scale sculptures allowed the viewer to approach and interact with them from all sides. Caro compared the process of sculpture to writing music: “I sometimes think of sculpture like a concerto: there's the piano up above and the orchestra down below".

Caro was knighted in 1987, and in 2000 he became the first artist since Henry Moore to be awarded the Order of Merit. Major exhibitions include retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and Tate Britain.

More information about Caro can be found here: http://www.anthonycaro.org/

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