London Artist, Anthony Caro who was born in 1924 and is considered one of the most influential British sculptors of his generation, will be featured this summer at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The installation on The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden features a cross section of his work.The exhibition opened 26 April to a warm reception. Caro is a key figure in the development of modernist sculpture over the last 60 years. The installation will include a selection of sculpture in steel, painted and unpainted, spanning the artist’s career to date and highlighting principal aspects of his long career: engagement with form in space, dialogue between sculpture and architecture, and creation of new, abstract analogies for the human figure and landscape.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first exhibition of steel sculpture by the artist, who lives and works in London. The large-scale works on view this summer will be Midday (1960, Museum of Modern Art, New York), After Summer (1968, Collection of Audrey and David Mirvish, Toronto), Odalisque (1984, Metropolitan Museum), Blazon (1987-90, Courtesy of Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York and Annely Juda Fine Art, London), and End Up (2010, Collection of the artist, courtesy of Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York). The installation will be situated in the Museum’s dramatic, nearly 8,000-square-foot open-air space offering unparalleled views of Central Park and the New York City skyline. Anthony Caro on the Roof will be the 14th consecutive single-artist installation on the Cantor Roof Garden. The exhibition is made possible by Bloomberg. Additional support is provided by Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky.
“We are delighted to present the work of Anthony Caro, one of the leading sculptors of a generation that produced singularly great, monumental sculpture,” commented Gary Tinterow, Engelhard Chairman of the Metropolitan Museum’s Department of Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art. “The first two installations of the Roof Garden in 1987 and 1988 featured his work, and it is a real pleasure to welcome him back. The elegance and wit of the unexpected, delicately colored forms will look marvelous silhouetted against the undulating green carpet of Central Park.”
Anthony Caro earned an M.A. in engineering at Cambridge University, studied sculpture at the Royal Academy Schools in London, then worked as assistant to Henry Moore in the early 1950s. After his first visit to the United States in 1959, when he became acquainted with the work of painter Kenneth Noland and sculptor David Smith, he moved away from figurative art entirely. He made his first polychrome sculpture, Sculpture Seven, in 1961, and that same year exhibited the only sculpture (The Horse, 1961) in the New London Situation, an exhibition of “situation paintings” held at Marlborough New London Gallery. Caro came to public attention with an exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1963, where he exhibited large, abstract, steel sculptures brightly painted and standing directly on the ground, so that viewers could approach and interact with the works from all sides; this represented a radical departure from the way sculpture had been presented in the past and was described by the artist as an attempt “to make sculpture more real.” Caro’s innovative work was complemented by his teaching at St. Martin’s School of Art in London from 1953 to 1981, where he influenced a younger generation of British abstract sculptors including Phillip King, Bruce McLean, Barry Flanagan, Richard Long, and Gilbert and George.
Caro often works in steel, but also in a diverse range of other materials, including bronze, silver, lead, stoneware, wood, and paper. Major exhibitions of his work have included retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1975), the Trajan Markets, Rome (1992), Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (1995), Tate Britain, London (marking his 80th birthday in 2005), and three museums in Pas-de-Calais, France (2008), to accompany the opening of his Chapel of Light at Saint Jean-Baptiste Church in 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 United Kingdom, United States, and Europe. He was knighted in 1987 and received the Order of Merit from the Queen in May 2000.
Anthony Caro on the Roof is organized by Gary Tinterow, Engelhard Chairman, and Anne L. Strauss, Associate Curator, both of the Department of Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
It will be featured on the Museum’s website at www.metmuseum.org.