Eight years after the passing of the incomparable British sculptor, Anthony Caro, Galerie Templon is showing a series of major works created between 1973 and 2011. With a selection of pieces from the artist's estate, the exhibition analyses Caro's very personal language and his complex relationship with abstraction, whose ultimate aim was to make his sculpture “more real, more felt.”
Right from the beginning of his artistic career, Caro emphasised the need to transcend mere physical presence to convey more complex feelings. After reaching the conclusion that creating figurative images necessarily led to a "pretence", he decided that only non-figurative sculpture could achieve emotion through the manipulation of form, space, colour and materials. In Anthony Caro's oeuvre, each of these elements has an expressive meaning and the artist played with them like a musical score, focusing on structure, repetition, variation and intervals. Just like music, his works combine formal gestures in steel, bronze or aluminium that excite the eye and provoke a visceral reaction. "I try to remove all references and create a true abstraction, composing my works as if with musical notes," explained the artist.
The notion of scale is also an essential dimension of this exploration. Works such as Belt and Slow March(1985) flirt with the monumental, and it is only by coming closer that the viewer can perceive all the nuances. In contrast, Cuckoo (2001) and Lamp (2011), at once intimate and exquisitely detailed, are akin to chamber music.
The ability of abstract sculpture to evoke emotion was one of the artist’s major concerns throughout his life. In a 2005 interview, he remarked, "As in music, there is an intimate, implicit connection between our heartbeat and variations in a key or rhythm. In sculpture, there is a relationship between what we feel...and the forms, the spaces." Collectively, the works reveal the breadth of research of a passionate artist, perpetually in search of formal innovations to achieve an ultimate surfeit of reality and sensation.
Sir Anthony Caro was born in 1924, studied under Henry Moore and was knighted by the Queen of England in 1987. He is considered to be one of the masters of European sculpture. His work is exhibited at over a hundred museums throughout the world, from MoMA in New York to Tate Britain in London and Centre Pompidou in Paris. Over the last decade, his work has been featured at the Metropolitan Museum in New York (2011), Chatsworth and Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Great Britain (2012), Museo Correr in Venice (2013), Musée Würth in Erstein, France, (2015), CIAC in Bourbourg, France, and Van Buuren Museum in Brussels (2017), Kunsthalle Weishaupt in Ulm, Germany, and Norwich University of the Arts in Norwich, UK (2019).
Anthony Caro's oeuvre is present in major public collections such as at the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris, Museum of Modern Art in New York, British Museum in London and Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo.