Sir Anthony Alfred Caro


"Table Piece CCCLXXIII," 1977

Varnished and rusted steel on black lacquered wood table
Sculpture: 21.25" H x 69.5" W x 12.5" D; Base: 18.325" H x 71" W x 15" D

  • Provenance: ACE Gallery, Venice, CA
    The Marmor Family Collection, acquired from the above, July 17, 1978
  • Exhibited: Venice, California, Ace Gallery, "Anthony Caro: Recent Sculpture," 1978.
  • Literature: D. Blume, Anthony Caro: Catalogue RaisonnĂ©, Vol. I: Table and Related Sculptures, 1966-1978, Cologne, 1981, p.234, illustrated
  • Notes: This lot is accompanied by a purchase receipt from ACE Gallery, Venice, CA, dated July 17, 1978. The bench was custom-made for the piece after purchase.

    Sir Anthony Caro, a revolutionary force in twentieth-century sculpture, challenged traditional notions of form and engagement with his innovative approach to materials and spatial relationships. Born in New Malden, England, Caro's journey into sculpture began after studying engineering at Christ's College, Cambridge, followed by sculptural training at the Royal Academy Schools in London and an apprenticeship with Henry Moore. It was in the early 1960s that Caro's artistic vision crystallized into a groundbreaking exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, where he presented large, brightly painted abstract sculptures positioned directly on the ground, shattering the conventions of pedestal-mounted sculpture and inviting viewers into a more intimate, interactive encounter with the artwork.

    Caro's influence extended beyond his studio practice; his tenure as a teacher at St. Martin's School of Art in London (1953 -1981) profoundly impacted the next generation of sculptors. His questioning approach opened new possibilities, both formally and in terms of subject matter, leading to the flourishing of sculpture worldwide.

    In 1977, Caro's artistic exploration took him to the Emma Lake summer workshop at the University of Saskatchewan, where he experimented with tubular steel in a linear mode. Sculptures produced during this period, later known as the "Emma" series, include notable works such as "Emma Dipper" (1977, now in the Tate Gallery collection) and "Emma Dance" (1977/78), showcasing Caro's continued evolution as an artist. This is the same period Caro created the present work, "Table Piece CCCLXXIII," (1977).

    Throughout his illustrious career, Caro explored various materials, from steel, bronze, lead, and silver to stoneware, wood, and paper. His restless experimentation with form and composition and his influential teaching at St. Martin's School of Art in London propelled him to the forefront of contemporary sculpture. Resolutely nonfigurative, Caro's works resonate with human experience, offering viewers a deeply subjective encounter with form, space, and emotion.

    Anthony Caro's selected exhibitions spanned the globe, showcasing his pioneering contributions to twentieth-century sculpture. From the Museum of Modern Art in New York (1975) to Trajan's Markets in Rome (1992) and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo (1995), Caro's sculptures engaged diverse audiences in dialogue about form, space, and materiality. His retrospective at the Tate Britain, London (2005), celebrated his profound influence on British art, while exhibitions in Pas-de-Calais, France (2008), highlighted his ability to adapt his practice to various cultural contexts. Each exhibition underscored Caro's enduring legacy as a visionary artist whose work continues to captivate and inspire audiences worldwide.

    Honored with numerous awards and accolades, including a knighthood in 1987 and the Praemium Imperiale Prize for Sculpture in 1992, Caro's legacy as a pioneering sculptor and educator continues to inspire generations of artists worldwide. His profound impact on the language of abstract sculpture, coupled with his unwavering commitment to artistic innovation, cements his place as one of the most influential figures in the history of modern art.
  • Condition: Overall good condition with scattered scuffs and scratches commensurate with age. A 1.5 x 0.25" scuff to top of sculpture. The steel with oxidation/rust throughout. The table with scattered scratches from the metal and minor general wear throughout. Felt applied to underside of metal sculpture.

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March 26, 2024 12:00 PM PDT
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