Hayward Gallery, 24 January – 9 March 1969
Anthony Caro (1924–2013) was the first living British sculptor to have a one-man exhibition in the Hayward Gallery. The exhibition – which featured more than 40 works situated across the gallery’s upper and lower floors, as well as the three outdoor sculpture terraces – was also the artist’s first retrospective. The exhibition was selected by Michael Fried, an art critic and art historian who had been an early admirer of Caro’s work.
The newly-opened Hayward Gallery was well- suited to Caro’s sculpture. In the accompanying catalogue, the Arts Council’s Director of Art Gabriel White celebrated the fact that ‘for the first time the connected spaces and staircases of the building are used to provide view and visual surprises that the architects envisaged’.
The accompanying catalogue featured an extensive essay by the show's selector Michael Fried.
Paul Overy, writing in the Financial Times, argued that ‘the bright, clear industrial colours of Caro’s sculptures manage to fight the almost intractable grey concrete bunker of this gallery in a way in which the subtler and more sensitive work of Matisse and Van Gogh was not able to do', while Christopher Salvensen, writing in the Listener, claimed that the gallery was the 'ideal setting' for Caro's sculpture.