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Hampstead sculptor Sir Anthony Caro dies aged 89

PUBLISHED: 09:30 26 October 2013

File photo dated 05/03/04 of sculptor Sir Anthony Caro, with his 1962 work 'Sculpture Two'. Picture: PA/Ian Nicholson

File photo dated 05/03/04 of sculptor Sir Anthony Caro, with his 1962 work 'Sculpture Two'. Picture: PA/Ian Nicholson

PA Wire/Press Association Images

A giant of the sculpture world who lived and worked in Hampstead has died after a sudden heart attack at the age of 89.

Sculptor Sir Anthony Caro, who has died aged 89 after suffering a heart attack, photographed in 2011. Picture: PA/David ParrySculptor Sir Anthony Caro, who has died aged 89 after suffering a heart attack, photographed in 2011. Picture: PA/David Parry

Sir Anthony Caro, whose home and studio were in Frognal, was widely regarded as one of the greatest British sculptors of his generation.

He worked in the 1950s as an assistant to Henry Moore – who also made his home in Hampstead for a time – before gaining international recognition and becoming a titan of the art form in his own right.

Sir Anthony was born in Surrey in 1924 and studied sculpture in London before going to work for Mr Moore.

He first came to prominence with a 1963 show at the Whitechapel Gallery and his distinctive work, often made of steel, has been on show at galleries including New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Tate Britain where his work, Early One Morning, is on display.

A major exhibition of his work is currently running at The Museo Correr in Venice.

He was an influential figure who taught at St Martin’s School of Art from 1953 to 1981 and whose work was an inspiration to a great many younger sculptors and artists.

His many awards included the Praemium Imperiale for Sculpture which he received in Tokyo in 1992 and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Sculpture in 1997.

He was knighted in 1987 and received the Order of Merit in May 2000.

In 1949, he married the painter Sheila Girling and they had two sons, Tim and Paul and three grandchildren Barnabas, Benjamin and Emma.

Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota said: “Anthony Caro was one of the outstanding sculptors of the past 50 years alongside David Smith, Eduardo Chillida, Donald Judd and Richard Serra.

“In the ‘60s he established a new language for sculpture in a series of elegant, arresting, abstract steel sculptures placed directly on the ground. His development of this vocabulary, building on the legacy of Picasso, but introducing brilliant colour and a refined use of shape and line, was enormously influential in Europe and America.

“Caro admired the sculpture of ancient cultures and Greece and from the ‘80s onwards produced a series of large-scale abstract works that reflected a continuing interest in the human body, but also a growing fascination with architecture.

“Caro was a man of great humility and humanity whose abundant creativity, even as he approached the age of ninety, was still evident in the most recent work shown in exhibitions in Venice and London earlier this year.”


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