Words: Jeremy Miles – Picture: Hattie Miles (Paris 2007)
He was the king of heavy metal – an apparent magician who could imbue sheets of steel and iron girders with a kind of weightless majesty. Sir Anthony Caro, who has died at the aged of 89, was a sculptor who could do amazing things with solidity. A few years ago he produced an astonishing entrance piece to a show at London’s Tate Britain exploring his 50 plus year career. Millbank Steps was a gargantuan piece designed to explore the relationship between sculpture and architecture. Weighing nearly 100 tons, the walk-through work filled more than half of the Tate’s vast Duveen Galleries. The floors had to be reinforced before it was craned in piece by piece.
Phew! I snuck in under the wire and managed to get to see Tate Britain’s big L.S. Lowry show before it closed. I’m glad I did. It provided ample evidence that Lowry – so long out of fashion – will one day take his place among the great observers of social history. Hugely popular but derided by many critics as a repetitive and even downright bad painter, Lowry was nonetheless a skillful and impressive portrayer of a world that seemed solid and dominant yet was changing so fast-changing that, by the time the paint was dry on the canvas, it was already all but lost. A post industrial world was beckoning. Somehow it seems he knew that the great factories would grind to a halt and the terraces of workers homes would be smashed by the wrecker’s ball. Continue reading “L.S. Lowry: painter of misery, misfortune and the collapse of the workshop of the world”
I’ve long admired the work of the German artist Kurt Schwitters but had not fully realised how shabbily we treated this extraordinarily creative man when he sought wartime refuge in Britain from the Nazis.
This is made abundantly clear in the new exhibition Schwitters in Britain (Tate Britain until May 12) and shows how his pioneering work born out of European Dadism and a profound influence on future artists was largely ignored.