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Greek art made real


My first visit to Greece
Anthony Caro Artist
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[Q] It wasn't until the mid '80s when you were, you know, a mature artist, a mature man, that you first went to Greece. Why did it take so long for you to get to Greece?

Because I could see the terrible effect that it had on all the old guys and the Flaxmans and people it had... it was awful... it was awful – all those awful figures with plumes and things. And they... they... you know. Is it as bad as that, Greek art? And I knew it was going to have a big effect on me, and I thought: don't look at that; don't look at something which is so obviously going to... going to be... going to have an influence on your work that much. And I think, by the '80s, I felt I could handle it; I could get it. And it was wonderful; it was a totally wonderful trip that first trip, because we started off, apart from, you know, we landed at Athens, and we took the car and went straight down to Nafplion. And on the way we passed this amazing lump, bits of stone stuck about, which was a... which was a palace, and it was so crude.

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: Greece, Nafplion, John Flaxman

Duration: 1 minute, 18 seconds

Date story recorded: November 2005

Date story went live: 24 January 2008