Anthony Caro: On the Roof

Anthony Caro is known for his groundbreaking work of modern sculpture, and the Met’s exhibition of his works honors his artistic innovation. Contrasted against the city’s skyline, five sculptures made up of industrial materials that have been repurposed are displayed without bases. Caro’s work differs from the “ready-made” style of sculpture in that his art is comprised of construction materials, such as steel beams; objects he has found and manipulated into abstract or cubist shapes. Throughout the summer, visitors to the Met have been able to see how Caro’s works interact with the natural elements, such as how the sun reflects off the metal, or how raindrops slide off its smooth surfaces.

The earliest work in the exhibition, Midday (1960), is produced from steel I-beams and fashioned into a bench-like shape, which Caro has painted bright yellow. It resembles an upside-down seesaw and emanates a playfulness that is enhanced by the view of Central Park. One of Caro’s recent works on display nearby, End Up (2010), is a mixed-media sculpture that uses rusted steel, cast iron and jarrah wood. These materials are combined to create square structures that intersect and there is a curved form placed between the larger metal pieces which makes the sculpture seem less stiff. The juxtaposition of these two works enables visitors to see how Caro’s style has evolved in the fifty-plus years of his career as an artist.

Anthony Caro is 88 years old and still sculpts in his studio every day. The native of England has been knighted by the Queen of England and has received an Order of Merit for his contributions to the arts. Caro’s work has been compared to “visual jazz” and after a visit to the Met’s current exhibition of his work that spans his decorated career, it’s easy to understand why Caro is regarded as the most influential sculptor of the second half of the twentieth century.

This is exhibit will be available for viewing until October 30, 2011. For more information, visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website.

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