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Working with steel


Head of Oculus
Anthony Caro Artist
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He's had trouble here with the cutting. He's had trouble here when he's cut here; it's splattered, and it hasn't worked, so he rejected this "Head of Oculus", and it was in among his junk. I saw it: ‘The "Head of Oculus"! Oh, I'll have that'. So I... I have it and I... I paid for it, stuck it on the base... not a real David Smith. But it didn't... it was a little different from the English stuff, and there were a few things that... it didn't really... it didn't really mean anything to me, especially, that it was... that it was David's.

[Q] So when you were working with the steel it wasn't like you were working with the ghost or the memory of something?

No, no.

[Q] It's just stuff?

Just stuff. The interesting thing was that some of the... of the angle irons were much thinner than we get in England and that's the sort of thing. It wasn't really... I don't know, just stuff. But I did say it was David's, you know. I did sort of... but no, no.

British sculptor Sir Anthony Caro (1924-2013) came to prominence in 1963 after a show at the Whitechapel Gallery. Keen to create a more direct interaction with the viewer he placed pieces directly on the ground, rather than on plinths, a technique now widely used. He held many honorary degrees and was knighted in 1987.

Listeners: Tim Marlow

Tim Marlow is a writer, broadcaster and art historian. He founded "Tate: The Art Magazine" in 1993 and was presenter of Radio 4 arts programme "Kaleidoscope" from 1991 to 1998, for which he won a Sony Award. He has presented art programme's on BBC 1, Channel 4 and Channel 5, including a documentary about JMW Turner, and written about art and culture for various British newspapers and magazines including "The Guardian", "The Times" and "Blueprint" He is Director of Exhibitions at the White Cube gallery in London as well as a visiting lecturer at Winchester School of Art, an examiner on the Sculpture MA there and former creative director of Sculpture at Goodwood

Tags: David Smith

Duration: 1 minute, 1 second

Date story recorded: November 2005

Date story went live: 24 January 2008