Although he had lived a long, full life, British sculptor Anthony Caro‘s death from a heart attack last Wednesday came as a sad surprise, because he had seemed so energetic and productive right to the end.
Responding to what he called my “poignant tribute” to Sir Anthony last week, Gary Tinterow, director of the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, told me that the 89-year-old artist had been “in great shape at the opening in May” of Caro’s Venice retrospective at the Museo Correr, which Tinterow had curated. Caro was then “robust, and engaged in his new work.” (In his former post as the Metropolitan Museum’s chairman of 19th-century, modern and contemporary art, Tinterow had overseen the 2011 installation of a Caro mini-retrospective on that museum’s roof garden.)
Chris Crosman, former curator at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR, wrote this response to my post:
Sorry to hear about Sir Anthony’s passing. I wholeheartedly agree that his Park Avenue sculpture installation [my link, not his] should be realized, if at all possible.
I, too, interviewed the artist—at his London Georgiana Street studio, in the late 1970s, for the Video Vasari project of the Albright-Knox Gallery [for which Crosman, then education curator at that museum, videotaped interviews with artists represented in the Albright-Knox’s collection. Above is the Buffalo, NY, museum’s Caro].
He was extremely generous with his time and talked about his indebtedness to David Smith, whom he met early in his career. Kenneth Noland was his close friend and introduced him to Smith. Noland’s own little-known sculpture owes much to Caro–a truly great, under-recognized lion of classic modernism in Britain and the world.