Sir Anthony Alfred Caro (1924 – 2013)

Sir Anthony Alfred Caro (1924 – 2013), was an English abstract sculptor who constructed strikingly expressionistic assemblages, often using found objects like industrial metal. One of the greatest sculptors of his generation, Caro belongs to the modernist school, and worked with Henry Moore early in his career.

The youngest of three children, Caro was born to a Jewish family in New Malden, England. At the age of three, his father, a stockbroker, moved the family to a farm in Churt, Surrey. Caro was educated at Charterhouse School, and spent holidays studying at the Farnham School of Art (now the University for the Creative Arts) as well as working in the studio of British sculptor Charles Wheeler. Caro later earned a degree in engineering from Cambridge. In 1946, after time in the Royal Navy, he studied sculpture at the Regent Street Polytechnic before pursuing further studies at the Royal Academy Schools from 1947 until 1952.

Since achieving critical success in the 1950s, Caro's work has been shown museums and galleries worldwide. Following his first solo exhibition at the Galleria del Naviglio in Milan in 1956, Caro received his first solo show in London in 1957, at the Gimpel Fils Gallery. His breakthrough came in 1963, when his exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery was lauded for suggesting the possibilities of non-representational sculptural form.

Caro’s abstract sculptures radically integrate spaces and surfaces into the works themselves. Instead of placing his sculptures on plinths, Caro placed them directly on the gallery floor, or even suspended them from surfaces. Later in his life, the artist blurred the distinction between artistic and architectural design, working on a series of sculptures which he characterised as “sculpitecture”. This idea culminated in several collaborative projects with prestigious architects, including Norman Foster, with whom he worked on the design for London’s famous Millennium Bridge, which crosses the Thames from St. Paul’s Cathedral to the Tate Modern.