Caro at the New Art Centre

The New Art Centre at Winterslow near Salisbury, is holding an exhibition of sculpture by Sir Anthony Caro, set within the landscape at Roche Court.

Sited throughout the park, the exhibition features seven large-scale works – dating from the 1970s to the 2000s – which together represent Caro’s marriage of sculpture and architecture. These large outdoor works are complemented by a group of smaller painted steel sculptures from the 1960s and 70s.

Three of these works are on display in the award-winning glass-fronted gallery, which looks out onto the park, creating a dialogue between the indoors and out.

Together, these sculptures show the sheer beauty and visual wit of Caro’s work, in which he assembles huge cut and welded sheets of metal with a lightness of touch and a joy in movement that is akin to drawing.

After studying sculpture at the Royal Academy Schools in London, Anthony Caro (1924-2013) worked as assistant to Henry Moore. He came to public attention with an early-career retrospective at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1963, where he exhibited large, brightly-painted abstract sculptures which were deliberately ‘taken down from the plinth’ (to use Caro’s words) and onto the floor, so that they would engage the spectator on a physical basis, in their space. This was a radical departure from the way sculpture had hitherto been seen and paved the way for future developments in three-dimensional art.

Caro was an influential teacher at St Martin’s School of Art in London, where his experimental approach opened up new possibilities, both formally and with regard to what sculpture could be. His innovative work, as well as his teaching, led to a new confidence in British sculpture – some of which can be seen in the park, in the work of his students Michael Bolus and David Annesley.

Caro’s many major exhibitions during his long career included retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1975), the Trajan Markets, Rome (1992), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (1995), Tate Britain, London (2005), and across three museums in Pas-de-Calais, France (2008), to accompany the opening of his Chapel of Light at Bourbourg.

He was awarded many prizes in his lifetime, including the Praemium Imperiale for Sculpture in Tokyo in 1992 and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Sculpture in 1997, plus honorary degrees from universities in the UK, USA and Europe. He was knighted in 1987 and received the Order of Merit in May 2000.

The exhibition continues to 28th August.

Pictured: Rip Cord 1970-74, and Silk Road 1971-74