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PRINT March 1992

SIR ANTHONY CARO AND HIS CRITICS

A RECENT REVIEW of Sir Anthony Caro’s monumental sculptures exhibited at the Tate Gallery in London is titled “Piecing it together,” a reference not only to Caro’s signature technique of assemblage but also to what we might call the continuity of his “oeuvre.” The question addressed by that reviewer is bluntly put in the article’s teaser as “a new uncertainty in the sculpture of Sir Anthony Caro”; further on we read of an artist whose “recent additions to [his] oeuvre are, to put it politely, rather eccentric,” an artist “discontent with the consequences of his own devotion to abstract literalism,” and finally, an artist “at odds both with his time and with his language.” The inescapable conclusion is that “Caro has become yet another late twentieth-century malcontent, bemoaning the exhaustedness of the modernist tradition.”’

While the occasion of a major exhibition of new work by Caro

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