Sir Anthony Caro (b. 1924), one of the world’s greatest living sculptors, will present his first major exhibition in Italy for more than 10 years at The Museo Correr in Venice from 1 June – 27 October 2013.

One of the leading figures in the development of 20th century sculpture, Sir Anthony Caro returns to Venice after his participation in the Biennales of 1956, 1966 and 1999, to meet the challenge of filling the monumental galleries of the Correr museum. A great interpreter of space, form and content, the artist will fill the galleries with works from throughout his career.

The exhibition will offer visitors a unique opportunity to explore the artist’s wide-ranging career as a whole: from his figurative early work under the influence of his teacher, Henry Moore, to his astonishing innovations of the 1960s, including the pioneering 1963 exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, through to his most recent work.

Caro at Museo Correr is presented by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia under the patronage of the British Council. The show is curated by Gary Tinterow, in collaboration with Gabriella Belli (Director, Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia), and the exhibition’s layout is designed by Daniela Ferretti.

Almost 30 of the artist’s works will be on show in the exhibition representing a period of over 50 years. It includes important pen and ink drawings on newspaper from his early career, a selection of his celebrated Paper Sculptures and, above all, some of his most famous large steel works, such as Red Splash (1966), Garland (1970), Cadence (1968/1972) and his more recent Venetian and River Song (2011/2012).

The change in Caro’s approach to art, from figurative painter to abstract sculptor, took place in the early 1960s, when the artist began to explore the expressive possibilities of industrial metal, abandoning more traditional forms of sculpture in order to create revolutionary assemblages, welded and bolted together, painted in bright colours and – above all – placed on the floor, in the spectator’s own space.

Despite having abandoned figurative work and narrative (with some notable exceptions, such as Table Piece Y-92 “The Triumph of Caesar” (1987), a work that is also on show in the exhibition), “in its insistence on humanist values”, writes Gary Tinterow in the exhibition catalogue, Caro’s art “has remained European”.

His works, which embrace the use of colour and often echo the proportions and positions of the human figure, and, like in some music and poetry, show an awareness of the human body. Typical of this are such works as Orangerie (1969-70), one of Caro’s finest works, which is on loan for this exhibition from the Museum of Fine Art, Houston.

Caro’s work has often been defined as lyrical, with the ability to restore harmony and beauty to abstract art. This revolutionary sculptural language has secured for the artist a prominent position in the development of sculpture during the 20th century, a symbol of all that is new and modern in the medium.

Over the course of his long career, Caro has not been shy in experimenting with a wide range of materials, exploring the potential of combining pre-existing industrial elements to which he gives fresh stylistic values. He has created compositions with metallic girders, meshes, sheet metal with clean-cut or randomly shaped outlines, placed together with varying orientations of the planes and drawing open three-dimensional forms in space. His works often create a strong impression of figurative images within their compositions and sometimes the illusion of the absence of weight. A horizontal sense of space was replaced in the 1970s by a greater stress on verticality, and the so-called “table sculptures” began to make their appearance alongside the customary monumental works.

The artist, who has enjoyed responding to the major painters of the past – such as Manet for example, as can be seen in his Table Piece Y-98 'Déjeuner sur l'herbe II' (1989) – has participated in major exhibitions all over the world and has won many international awards.

Highlights of his exceptional career include his participation, as the only sculptor, in the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1966; his retrospective at the MoMA, New York, in 1975; the 1984 exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery in London, which then travelled throughout Europe; winning the Praemium Imperiale award for Sculpture in 1992; his major retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo in 1995; and his collaboration with Norman Foster for the Millennium Bridge in London which opened in 2000. In 2004, Tate Modern in London celebrated his 80th birthday. It is now Venice’s turn to celebrate the charismatic personality of this great artist who turns 90 next year.

The exhibition at the Museo Correr is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, containing texts by Gabriella Belli, Michael Fried and Gary Tinterow.

Museo Correr
Piazza San Marco
Venezia 30124 Italia
Ph. 848082000 (from Italy)
Ph. +39 04142730892 (from abroad)

Opening hours
Daily from 10am to 7pm (ticket office from 10am to 6pm)

Single ticket (exhibition only) 8,00 €
Full price 16,00 €
Reduced price 8,00 €