NEW YORK, NY.- Paul Kasmin
is presenting Caro & Olitski: 1965 1968, Painted Sculptures and The Bennington Sprays, an exhibition that celebrates the dialogue, exchange of ideas and lasting friendship between British sculptor, Sir Anthony Caro and American painter, Jules Olitski. The exhibition features painted steel sculptures by Caro and never-before exhibited Spray paintings by Olitski, paintings that art critic Clement Greenberg considered to be among the artists finest. Caro & Olitski is on view from September 7 through October 25 at 515 West 27th Street.
Caro and Olitskis decades-long friendship took root in 1963 when, after years of mutual admiration, both artists joined the faculty of the Art Department at Bennington College in Vermont, an area also home to David Smith and Kenneth Noland. During their time teaching in Bennington, the Fire Department lent its garage to Caro for studio space. Olitski and Caro would participate in each others discussions with students about various topics of art.
At Bennington, these artists opened up new areas in abstraction, exploring novel methods and materials that established them as radically distinct from their peers. Caro and Olitskis achievements in surface, color and form through unusual, industrial elements enabled them to emerge as successors of the first generation of the New York School, and, in turn, inspire later generations of abstract artists.
The exhibition feature Olitskis the never before exhibited Bennington Sprays, including Pink Hoodoo, 1965, Flame Out, 1965 and Tut Pink, 1965. The Sprays, one of the artists most well-known and pioneering achievements, were conceived after a visit to Nolands studio with his students and Caro present. To make these works, Olitski would point multiple, industrial spray guns filled with acrylic paint at a canvas stretched onto the floor. Through different angles and heights of the spray guns, the paint is rendered almost holographic in appearance, suggesting weightlessness and diffused light, an expression of pure color. On the Sprays, Greenberg wrote, What makes Olitskis paint surface a factor in the creation of major artis the way in which one of the profoundest pictorial imaginations of this time speaks through it.
Caros Green Sleeper, 1965, first exhibited at The Hayward Gallery in London in 1969, is part of Olitskis personal collection. Unlike other abstract sculptors of the time, Caro eschewed traditional art materials, creating sculptures with found steel, plates and beams welded into angular assemblages; and made works that are positioned directly onto the floor without a traditional platform or fixed center. His sculptures enter the space of the viewer allowing one to move freely around its brightly colored and geometric edges.