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On the edge of the impossible; Sculptor Anthony Caro

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Anthony Caro's sculpture first received international attention and wide exposure in the 1960s. This London-born, London-based sculptor had broken away from the conventions of modeled or carved volumetric sculpture, and, using welded and painted steel parts, was making abstract sculpture of extraordinary freedom and inventiveness. One critic wrote that Caro had "altered the premise of sculpture. . . . His forms flow along the ground or rise on diagonals. . . ." Another claimed that he had altered "profoundly the history not just of sculpture but of abstraction." Arguing that Caro's "intense preoccupation" was with the "livedness of the body," michael Fried wrote: "In Caro's art the physicality of the body is itself liberated from the body's limits."

In the early 50s Caro had been an assistant to Henry Moore. It was, however, the inspiration of the American sculptor David Smith, encountered on his first of many visits to the United States in 1959, that proved crucial to his development. A highly productive artist, Caro continues to make both large and small sculptures, continually breaking new ground on both sides of the Atlantic. His work has been exhibited extensively. At present there is an exhibit, sponsored by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, on the grounds of the Christian Science Center.

The following is an edited version of a discussion he had recently with Christopher Andreae at Mr. Caro's home in London.m

Your work has become almost exclusively associated with the material or welded steel -- but you tell me you have recently been making sculpture using clay and bronze. This has been kept rather secret, hasn't it?

The bronze sculptures I've kept under wraps because I hadn't got them right. But now I have and I'm going to show them in the autumn at the Acquavella Galleries in New york, on 79th Street.

How have you been using these materials?

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