To mark eight years since passing of one of Britain’s most decorated contemporary sculptors, the Templon gallery in Paris, France, pays homage to Sir Anthony Caro with an exhibition displaying a wide range of his best and most treasured works created between 1973 and 2011.
With the twenty or so pieces gathered 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 start of his artistic career, Caro stressed 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 determined 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 stimulate 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 important 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.
The exhibition runs from 8th January 2022 – 5th March 2022.
For more information visit www.templon.com/new/gallery