This year, France pays tribute to Sir Anthony Caro, probably Britain’s greatest sculptor today, through a series of museum exhibitions in Angers and Nord-Pas-de-Calais. Galerie Daniel Templon is proud to join these events with an exhibition of his latest works: recent galvanised steel sculptures, presented for the first time in France.
2008 marks the completion of Anthony Caro’s most ambitious public commission to date. In 2000, he was invited to conceive a group of sculptures around one of the jewels of gothic art in the region: the 12th century choir of the chapel Saint Jean-Baptiste, in the small village of Bourbourg (Flandre maritime) in the north of France. This major commission will be unveiled on October 11, 2008. In conjunction to this event, the Musée des Beaux-Arts d’Angers recently organized a retrospective and three museums in the area of Bourbourg - Calais, Dunkirk and Gravelines – are organizing thematic exhibitions showing the broad diversity of his oeuvre.
Anthony Caro’s solo show at Galerie Daniel Templon focuses on his more recent sculptures made of galvanised steel. Using a cubist-like approach, Caro combines forms evocative of simple objects and industrial tools and turns them into architectural elements. The sculptures seem to organically develop themselves into bridges, cells, passages, that seem both utilitarian and unworkable. These pieces are characterized by their pale grey steel color, almost dusty, typical of the galvanization process. As the artist explains, « I thought I wanted to paint them, so I sent the steel out to be galvanized in order to get the surface right. And when it came back, I liked the way it looked». So he kept it as is.
At 84, Anthony Caro counts as one of the most important figures of the 20th century sculpture. A student of Henry Moore, he was one of the first artists to incorporate industrial elements such as I-beam or steel plates into sculpture. He is also credited with the idea of removing the sculpture from its plinth and by rethinking the relationship between the artwork and the pedestal. His work has had an important influence on an entire generation of sculptors such as Richard Deacon or Tony Cragg. Anthony Caro’s work is represented in more than 70 public collections all around the world, including the Tate Britain and British Museum in London, the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts in California, MoMA and the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo.