Incoming! This winter, the AGO will unveil an exhibition of four monumental works by one of the most influential sculptors of the late twentieth century, British artist Sir Anthony Caro (1924-2013). A studio assistant to Henry Moore in the 1950s, Caro revolutionized sculpture in the 1960s by creating colourful abstract assemblages. Following in the steps of the artist Constantin Brâncuși, Caro eliminated the use of the pedestal, putting his works directly in the space of the viewer. He also assembled each sculpture’s various components in a manner that emphasized the relationship between the work’s different parts, directing the viewer’s focus to the object’s structure. This led some critics to describe his work as abstract. Anthony Caro: Sculpture Laid Bare opens in the AGO’s Signy Eaton Gallery on Saturday, December 10.
“Caro undoubtedly redefined the medium of sculpture. By welding and bolting prefabricated steel and aluminum elements into abstract configurations and then installing them directly on the ground, he created works that engage viewers in a visual, but also very direct, physical manner,” says Kenneth Brummel, the AGO’s assistant curator of modern art and the exhibition’s curator. “This show offers visitors the rare opportunity to see four of Caro’s late works, which are among his largest and most ambitious. Many of Caro’s sculptures appear to levitate, as if they have been freed from the logic of gravity. These late sculptures assert the materiality of the steel out of which they are made in ways that are very different, providing our audience a chance to see and to feel the tension of seemingly weightless sculptural forms emerging from brute and heavy, rusted metal parts. Because these works will be installed near the monumental plaster casts in the Henry Moore Sculpture Centre, visitors can also compare and contrast two titans of modernist sculpture who also happen to be teacher and student.”
The four works in the exhibition are from 2012 and 2013. Three have been previously exhibited at Gagosian Gallery, London, and one was featured at Museo Correr, Venice, in 2013.
The exhibition is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario and will be accompanied by a catalogue, featuring essays by Brummel and New York-based curator and critic Karen Wilkin. On Friday, December 9, the AGO will host a roundtable discussion on Caro’s late work and studio practice in Jackman Hall. Visit ago.net in the coming weeks for information on how to buy tickets.