Anthony Caro (New Malden (Surrey), 8 March 1924 – London, 23 October 2013) was an English sculptor.
Caro has had a major influence on the creation and development of modern, abstract sculpture. His work is characterized by his reuse of metal (mainly iron and steel) mostly from the scrap yard.
After studying sculpture at the Royal Academy Schools in London, he worked as an assistant to Henry Moore from 1951. His works from that period were still figurative, partly due to the fact that in the first years after World War II, the Royal Academy was decidedly oblivious to emerging abstract art.
Turning point in his career was, during his first visit to the United States (1959-1960), his meeting with the American sculptor David Smith.
It was the American critic, Clement Greenberg, who welcomed Caro to the United States and instigated a major change: from the traditional working sculptor he was to the Avant Garde artist he became.It was David Smith, in turn inspired by Pablo Picasso and Julio González, who introduced Caro to the possibility of creating sculptures through the so-called collage technique: the technique of welding metal and metal parts in the forge.
For Caro, this was the time to embrace modernity. His works were heavily influenced by Smith, but Caro was careful not to imitate Smith and he developed a style all his own.Caro encountered Smith again on his second visit to the United States, roughly from 1963 to 1965, and accepted Smith”s invitation to teach at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont, to lead the faculty of sculpture.He worked with his students in a private studio
Caro, however, did not wish to remain in Smith”s shadow and is reported to have said:
Ik wilde hem verslaan.
In May 1965, the friendship between the two men ended due to the fatal car accident that befell Smith.
From 1953 to 1981, Caro taught at St. Martin”s School of Art (now known as Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design) in London, and his example has led to many changes in sculpture (English and international).Anthony Caro works mostly with steel, but his creations also include sculptures in bronze, silver, lead, stone, wood and paper. A separate place within his very broad oeuvre, and imitated by many artists, has been occupied since 1966 by the so-called table sculptures: small metal collages, partly hanging on and partly next to the table on which the object is placed (Tablepieces).
Beginning in 1963, Caro exhibited his works in a relentless and continuing stream of exhibitions to the present day. One of these is the 2005 retrospective organized by Tate Modern in London to mark Caro”s eightieth birthday. The exhibition was also shown in Valencia and Madrid (Spain), Portland
Caro died of a heart attack in London at the age of 89.