From Mind to Matter
Throughout his career the sculptor Anthony Caro has been intrigued by the question of what sculpture is and its inherent possibilities. Apollo caught up with him at his studio
Martin Gayford, Sunday, 1st May 2011
From this thought developed the Tower of Discovery (1991), dubbed by Caro a work of ‘sculpitecture’ – part architectural structure, part sculpture – and much disliked by some. Unabashed, Caro is still finding ways to tweak the definition of his art. A current project is a sculpture designed to be three blocks long for the centre of Park Avenue, New York, and intended to be seen from a car moving at 30 miles per hour. This is still at model stage when I visit Caro’s studio, due to be unveiled in February 2012.
Although Caro is prepared to consider many radical departures from the tradition in which he was educated all those years ago, there is a clear point beyond which he is unwilling to go. ‘You could start to think that breathing is sculpture. I’m sure somebody has. But living is not sculpture, ordinary everyday things are not sculpture.’ This is in clear contradiction to the famous claim of his old students Gilbert & George to be ‘living sculptures’, and to the Duchampian tradition of transforming objects into art with a flourish of the artist’s wand. ‘For it to be art’, he says, ‘there has to be some sort of a condensation. Something has to be resolved. It cannot just be everyday life, I don’t think. I was willing to bring sculpture closer to real life, take it off the pedestal. But there still is, for me, a little bit of a transparent screen around it, to say “I’m special, I’m not like your table and chairs, don’t sit on me!’” In that respect, if not in many others, he remains in agreement with the teachers of his youth.
LATEST NEWS & COMMMENT
Brussels plays host to a trio of outstanding fairs at the Place du Grand Sablon in early June, and the ever popular Carré Rive Gauche – now in its 36th year – returns to the Left Bank in Paris.
The work of John Nash has often been overshadowed by that of his contemporary, John Soane. But his pragmatism, as well as his experiments with the picturesque, make him one of the most significant of all British architects.
Apollo is published in London, one of the world’s great art capitals and home to extraordinary, thrilling exhibitions such as last year’s ‘Bronze’ at the Royal Academy