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Over the course of his extensive career, Anthony Caro has undertaken several different trajectories in his sculpture. One consistent thread has been his remarkable ability to create evocative drawings in space. In this book Mary Reid discusses Caro's extended engagement with line in three dimensions, tracing characteristics of weightlessness, relationship to the ground, colour, movement, environment and even geographical location. In the late 1950s, Caro was becoming dissatisfied with his figurative sculpture and was searching for ways to push his practice in new directions. Following the advice of the pre-eminent American critic Clement Greenberg, Caro set working in clay aside and began experimenting with common building materials such as steel girders and I-beams. The results revolutionised the very concept of sculpture. In turn these heavy initial experiments quickly moved to very linear, tensile embodiments of space and gesture. Over the course of the next 50 years this engagement with line has remained a constant within Caro's field of vision, continually shifting and morphing with each new surprising invation in scale, surface, material, content and form. Mary Reid's text lays the foundations for a wider understanding of Caro's extraordinary sculptures, from which new interpretations can spring forth. The accompanying plates serve to highlight the development and multiple transitions of this important aspect of the sculptor's long and impressive career.
Mary Reid is Curator of Contemporary Art and Photography at The Winnipeg Art Gallery in Canada. Her primary curatorial interests lie in modern and contemporary art as well as public sculpture, with a particular interest in the investigation of the creative process itself. She has taught and lectured on art and contemporary issues regarding curating and exhibition practice at the University of Winnipeg, the University of Manitoba and Georgian College. In September 2008 she became a mentor with Mentoring Artists for Women's Art year-long Foundation Mentorship Programme. She has curated a number of exhibitions and contributed to various publications, exhibition catalogues and magazines focused on contemporary art.