Anthony Caro. Midday. 1960 108

Painted steel, 7' 8 3/4 x 37 7/8 x 12' 9, 2384 lb. (235.6 x 96.2 x 378.5 cm, 1081.4 kg). Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Wiesenberger Fund. © 2019 Anthony Caro

Directory, Glenn Lowry: The sculptor, Anthony Caro, speaking at the Museum in 1975.

Anthony Caro, Archival: People have asked me to describe what my sculpture is about and I keep on saying it's like music. What I think I mean by that is that I'm trying to take out the whole business of it being pieces of steel that are used in engineering, pieces of steel that are used in architecture. I just happen to use those materials instead of using notes.

Chief Curator Emeritus, John Elderfield: What's hard to now grasp is how radical and how astonishing this work was in 1960.

Glenn Lowry: Chief Curator Emeritus of Painting and Sculpture, John Elderfield

John Elderfield: It is, as he says, about arranging pieces of steel in an abstract way, like notes. One can imagine a piece of sheet music, with notes arranged upon a line and also the gaps between these notes.

Traditionally, it's possible to walk around the sculpture and sort of predict what the other side is going to be like. In the case of a sculpture like this, there doesn't seem to be, let's say, any inside. It's all outside.

He said that he made this sculpture in a one-car garage and therefore he really never had any distance on it. He was never actually looking at it as a whole image. So in fact the decisions he was making were all part-to-part decisions. It was the relationship from one piece of metal to the other piece of metal.

Anthony Caro, Archival: So when I put them out into the courtyard, I sometimes got a nice or bad surprise at any rate, because it wasn't something I knew about, but some sort of discovery.

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