Caro was one of Britain’s most renowned 20th-century sculptors and considering he died 10 years ago it’s impressive to have the opportunity to clamber over one of his works, even if adjacent works are very much in the 'look but don’t touch' category. Next to the wooden centrepiece is a steel and yellow Perspex sculpture that gives off similar architectural vibes in that it feels like you could walk through it and the steel even appears as if someone has tried to pry it open, and yet there’s no way in – though we imagine some younger visitors may well try to find one.
Gazing out of the window allows us to see one of his largest works, squatting on the grass behind the gallery, as if bracing itself against the British weather. Exposed to the elements is where his works seem to exist most naturally as this door is next to one of the Pitzhanger’s gates in a passage between the gallery and the manor. It’s when interacting with the architecture of the venue that Caro’s works are at their strongest, and the curation ensures that his largest pieces get to have that interplay.
It’s the smaller works that are a lot less impactful and while these pieces and his models are an important part of his practice they’re underwhelming.This exhibition highlights how his art was inspired by architecture, but even his largest works feel small compared to the buildings that he drew his ideas from and so his smallest works feel too far removed to be memorable.
Caro is an artist who needs a lot of time and space to appreciate, and there’s no doubt of his importance to 20th-century British Modernism, but he’s a hard artist to get excited about. However, the gallery has made a sterling effort in introducing us to his world – even if it's only a few works that are truly memorable.
Photos: Andy Stagg
|What||Anthony Caro: The Inspiration of Architecture, Pitzhanger Manor review|
|Where||Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery, Mattock Ln, London, W5 5EQ | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Ealing Broadway (underground)|
09 Mar 23 – 10 Sep 23, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
|Website||Click here for more information and to book|