Lot 18
  • 18

Anthony Caro

60,000 - 80,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Anthony Caro
  • Cleeve
  • painted steel
  • 32 5/8 by 92 by 8 in.
  • 83 by 233.6 by 20.3 cm
  • Executed in 1965


Kasmin Ltd., London
Mr. and Mrs. Carter Burden, New York
Christie's, New York, May 6, 1986, lot 17
Acquired by the present owner from the above in 1986


New York, Marlborough Gallery, Selected Works form the Collection of Carter Burden, May - June 1974, cat. no. 71, p. 34, illustrated
Denton, University of North Texas Art Gallery, The New British Sculpture: Selected Works from the Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Collection, March - April 1992


Dieter Blume, Anthony Caro, Catalogue Raisonné, Volume III, Cologne, 1981, illustrated p. 58, no. 856 (size incorrect)

Diane Waldman, Anthony Caro, New York, 1982, p. 49, fig. no. 43, illustrated (size incorrect)

Catalogue Note

Created at a critical time in Caro's career, Cleeve's poetic, gestural quality resides in the angled disposition and intervals of its richly painted steel elements, in the way things touch and seem to stand against the pull of gravity. Its perfectly balanced disposition of line and mass is at once logical and elusive, and epitomizes the effortless marriage of form and material at the heart of Caro's oeuvre.

The crucial formative year for Caro came in 1959. Stuck in the shadow of his teacher Henry Moore and increasingly frustrated by the limitations of his own burgeoning figurative sculptures, Caro made a visit to the United States following a visit to his studio by American art critic Clement Greenberg. Greenberg encouraged Caro to adopt a more intuitive approach to his art making and emphasized the importance of exploring inherent relationships between subject and material.

An important precedent and unquestionable influence on Caro's desire to relinquish the conventional barrier between the viewer and the work was Alberto Giacometti's Woman With her Throat Cut. Like Giacometti, by placing his sculptures directly on the ground within the viewer's actual space, the qualities of scale and form were no longer merely representational but immediate and actual manifestations of material. Although a small development in physical terms, the ramifications of removing the plinth have been enormous to the extent that freestanding sculpture has become a convention in itself.

Few artists over the course of their career can be credited with reinventing the standards by which art is judged, yet that is precisely what Anthony Caro did with his abstract constructions. Caro defeated sculptural object-hood by imitating the efficacy of painterly gesture, and as Clement Greenberg reflected in 1965, "no other artist has gone as far from the structural logic of ordinary ponderable things."