Intermezzo/Saddle (Caro)






Anthony Caro

Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Los Angeles County Museum of Art


Children’s Drawing


Anthony Caro’s Intermezzo (1987, at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art) is a great tall pile or stack of lacquered steel behind the Museum building that you pass as you go in the rear entrance. It exhibits Caro’s collapsible structures par excellence, looking like a memory of Stravinsky’s Renard performed on a ramshackle set of trestles, or who knows maybe Parade with the Ballets Russes. And then, as you turn, it’s a sort of soft Calder, and again a Miró, as planes become lines and angles or vice versa, or a representation of something to be called London Cubism, which is a way of looking at things.




Caro’s Saddle (1976, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art), is a curving plate of unpainted steel, rust-colored, standing on one of its long sides at an upward angle, ornamented with welded pieces above and below, and set between upright girder segments. The direct, noble sentiments expressed by its proportions are complemented and set off by the extreme refinement of the upper curled edge of the plate, which is treated with the elegance and exactitude of a painter’s brushstroke. The photograph (from LACMA) does not convey this. An unusual feature of this sculpture, quietly rusting and ignored but for the singular event of wrath spewed from a professor thousands and thousands of miles away, is the beautiful eclipsing movement it makes when walked around, which is difficult to do in its present situation. At the left it folds up and redeploys very musically, a delightful effect.