CHATSWORTH.- Caro at Chatsworth, the first exhibition devoted to the work of a single artist at Chatsworth House, opened last week, presenting 15 monumental works by Britains greatest living sculptor Sir Anthony Caro. The exhibition will run through 1 July 2012.
The exhibition provides a once in a lifetime chance to see Caros larger work one of Britains most famous historic settings. All the sculptures in the exhibition have been lent by the artist and reflect his major concerns over the past four decades. Early examples of Caros steel sculptures painted in blue, orange and green are shown alongside examples from the renowned Flats series made in Canada in rusted and varnished steel in the 1970s. More recent works from the 1990s reflect Caros continual experimentation with the surface, form and structure of steel. Sited immediately in front of the south lawn and the Seahorse Fountain will be the monumental Goodwood Steps, its striking series of ziggurats echoing the architecture of Chatsworth House itself.
Three associated exhibitions of work by Anthony Caro have been organised to coincide with Caro at Chatsworth to create a national celebration of Britains greatest living sculptor. These exhibitions include a show of bronze sculptures from the House series at Yorkshire Sculpture Park which have never been seen before from 16 March 1 July 2012; Anthony Caro: Reliefs and Standing Sculptures, at Roche Court New Art Centre, from 21 April 24 June 2012, featuring brand new works cast in coloured resin; and the installation of Caros work Woman Waking Up (1956), on loan from the Arts Council Collection, as part of The Hepworth Wakefields new collection display focusing on post-war British art, opening May 2012.
Anthony Caro was born in 1924. He studied sculpture at the Royal Academy Schools in London and came to public attention with a pioneering solo exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1963, which established his pivotal role in the development of twentieth century sculpture. Caro has since shown his work in exhibitions across the world and is represented in the major international collections of contemporary art. Most recently he has had solo exhibitions at Tate and on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. As well as Caro at Chatsworth, he has major projects destined for New York and Venice, his indefatigable energy and creativity showing no signs of slowing down. In 2000 he received the Order of Merit, the only sculptor besides Henry Moore to receive such an honour in the last century.
Chatsworth House is also known as the Palace of the Peaks, named so for its beautiful Baroque architecture, fascinating history and displays and treasures from the Devonshire Collection, one of Europes most significant art collections. Chatsworth also has a long association with 20th-century art, and the Devonshire Collection includes important works by artists such as Lucian Freud, David Hockney, John Hoyland and Michael Andrews. The establishing of the Chatsworth House Trust in 1981 enabled the recent acquisitions of a number of sculptures for the grounds by, amongst others, Barry Flanagan, Elizabeth Frink and Richard Long, and contemporary artwork within the house. The Devonshire Collection also includes Anthony Caros early Table Piece XCIV, 1969. The present house was built between 1687 and 1707 on the site of a Tudor mansion built by Bess of Hardwick. The gardens include the famous Cascade and the Emperor Fountain; the Canal Pond was dug in 1702 and is 287m.
The external stonework of the South and West facades of the house has been undergoing a programme of restoration, whereby it has been cleaned, repaired and restored, ensuring its long term preservation for future generations of visitors. The work will be completed in time for the opening of Caro at Chatsworth, providing the perfect setting for this important exhibition.