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What I didn't have at school


My parents' feelings about art
Anthony Caro Artist
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[Q] Did you feel the need to prove yourself to your father?

Very much, very much indeed. Very much. And I remember saying to my mother... you know, my mother was looking at books on me and that, and she saw Diane Waldman's colour book, and she saw those catalogue raisonné – grey books with all the sculptures I'd made. And she said, ‘There's... that's the one. Those are the ones. Like your colour thing – I don't care about the... the... that thing but I want to know that you've worked, you know?’ Something like that. She didn't say that but, I mean, that was the implication. But it was more my father really that... that... because my mother was always rather artistic, and my father had good taste but he wasn't artistic. He was very fumbly about drawing and doing anything like that – couldn't draw at all.

[Q] Did you grow up in a household where there was art though? Did your parents have art on the wall?

Yes, yes, to a very limited degree. They did; they had some nice paintings. But not – nothing great, nothing important. But nice, and we looked at them.

[Q] Sort of landscapes?

Yeah. We looked at them, you know, and talked about them a bit. I don't remember ever going to an art gallery with my father; we lived in the country anyway.

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: Diane Waldman

Duration: 1 minute, 13 seconds

Date story recorded: November 2005

Date story went live: 24 January 2008