Caro: Close Up

Julius Bryant, Author, Martina Droth, Author, Robert Storr, Essay by
Edited by Julius Bryant and Martina Droth. Yale Univ., $75 (240p) ISBN 978-0-300-17603-2
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Accompanying the first United States retrospective of British sculptor Anthony Caro's work in almost 40 years, this collection places the prominent artist firmly within the evolving historical and critical contexts of his long career. Creating work as intimately involved with the human body as with pure abstraction, his familiar sculptures seem to elude gravity even while insisting on their own materiality. To understand Caro, the essays argue, one must first unpack the critical dialogue that has risen alongside his work, seeing the ways it both informs and limits our current viewing. These tours through modern sculpture allow Caro to shine through as an artist who is "disturbingly evocative of the darker aspects of our material world," responsive to cultural shifts yet steadfastly singular. These insights are most valuable, however, when they launch into the attached catalogue, a retrospective in a wide range of media highlighting his consistent engagement with abstraction and his "new tactility, purely for the eye." The artist who famously brought sculpture off the pedestal here appears fresh again, the arresting images of rarely-seen work suggesting new frameworks and opening new avenues for consideration of what can still be learned from such a perennially important sculptor. 150 color + b&w illus. (Dec.)
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