29 March 2012
Last updated at 11:18
An exhibition of monumental sculptures by Sir Anthony Caro, one of Britain's most eminent and influential contemporary artists, has opened at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. The show features 15 steel works arranged around the Canal Pond, facing the Duke of Devonshire's historic home.
The imposing 33-metre (110-foot) Goodwood Steps is a series of rusted and varnished steel stair formations made in the mid-1990s. The 88-year-old Sir Anthony has loaned works spanning his career, ranging from breakthrough works from the early 1960s to more recent creations.
"Putting the whole thing in was a performance," Sir Anthony said, explaining that there were "a lot of problems" with Goodwood Steps because the marks identifying how it should fit together had disappeared while it was in storage. "And so it was a jigsaw puzzle on a very heavy scale."
Sir Anthony started his career as an assistant to the sculptor Henry Moore before moving away from figurative shapes to abstract forms.
Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota, who opened the exhibition, said of Sir Anthony's move to abstraction: "At the time it was a highly radical move. He revolutionised sculpture by taking it off the plinth, putting sculpture in the same space as the viewer, and he also in a certain sense made the first genuinely abstract sculptures."
But Sir Anthony said he did not particularly enjoy going back through his old work. "I’m more interested in the work I’m going to do today and tomorrow than what I did in the past," he said. "I hope now that I can work like a young artist and try all sorts of new things. I think that’s all you can do, to keep pushing forward."
The artist said he did not normally like showing his work outdoors but was happy with the Chatsworth garden. "What’s good about this is it’s such an ordered environment," he said. "It’s not pastoral." The exhibition runs until 1 July.