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My sense of rhythm


Sculpture is my life
Anthony Caro Artist
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[Q] Has sculpture ever felt futile? You know, when you see this kind of tragedy, or when you feel the most intense happiness or joy in the world, does sculpture ever feel an activity that never... can never quite capture or realise any of that?

No, it's my life. For me, it's my life. But for the rest of the world, like everybody, of course it's futile. It's a little pisser, you know. It could be football; it could be anything. It's the activity that I've invested my life in, and it's a tiny, tiny, tiny bit and that bothers me sometimes. That bothers me insofar as, yes, I think we can try and make it as good as we can. I'm... I have read so many rotten books lately that I've decided to... to pick up "War and Peace", and I'm half way through it. And I've read it two or three times and it's enormous, the canvas is giant; it's wonderful. You can't think of it as... as a novel; you can't think of it like you think of a Turgenev or a Jane Austen novel. And they are marvellous too, but they are like jewels, the little jewels, whereas "War and Peace" is... is a world; it's a world. Maybe the true... the same thing is probably true of the Sistine ceiling and so on. So you do think to yourself,  yes, sculpture that I've sort of engaged myself with is a very small activity, and perhaps there is... it is possible to invest in a bigger activity which... which would be sculpture but... if one was that sort of person or something.

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: War and Peace, Jane Austin

Duration: 2 minutes, 9 seconds

Date story recorded: November 2005

Date story went live: 24 January 2008