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Large-scale steelwork by renowned British sculpture on display at Norwich city centre

PUBLISHED: 16:12 29 April 2019 | UPDATED: 17:20 30 April 2019

Patrick Cunningham spent 50 years working alongside world-renowned sculptor Sir Anthony Caro. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Patrick Cunningham spent 50 years working alongside world-renowned sculptor Sir Anthony Caro. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Archant

Last year's head-turning city sculpture was gutsy - in more ways than one. This time, the instalment outside Norwich University of the Arts is showing its mettle.

Can you see the face? The intriguing new Caro sculpture outside the Norwich University of the Arts building on St George's St in the city. Picture: Neil DidsburyCan you see the face? The intriguing new Caro sculpture outside the Norwich University of the Arts building on St George's St in the city. Picture: Neil Didsbury

For, following on from Damien Hirst's monumental anatomical study, Hymn, NUA on Monday installed a 2.5m-tall rusted steel sculpture by renowned sculptor Sir Anthony Caro.

The Erl King is unlikely to create such a wide opinion divide as Hymn, but should turn heads as people walk or cycle down St Georges Street.

It belongs to a series of works created by Sir Anthony in 2008 and 2009, four years before his death in 2013.

The new Caro sculpture entitled 'Erl King' was placed on a concrete plinth outside the Norwich University of the Arts in Norwich. Picture: Neil DidsburyThe new Caro sculpture entitled 'Erl King' was placed on a concrete plinth outside the Norwich University of the Arts in Norwich. Picture: Neil Didsbury

NUA has planning permission for the sculpture, which is largely made from a ship's anchor.

It coincides with a major exhibition of Caro's work at the university entitled Iron in the Soul, which features 16 previously unseen drawings and prints by the artist, including four charcoal life drawings annotated by his mentor Henry Moore in 1951.

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Prof Neil Powell, curator of the exhibition, said: “Caro was probably the most important and internationally acclaimed British sculptor of his generation.

“As curator I have been fortunate in having privileged access to his archive in order to research the show, and as a consequence we are delighted to be able to reveal a significant number of important works for the first time to public audiences later this year.

“These unseen works change our understanding of Caro as an artist and offer a new and intimate insight into the development of his work.”

The new Caro sculpture entitled 'Erl King' will spend the next three months on display in Norwich. Picture: Neil DidsburyThe new Caro sculpture entitled 'Erl King' will spend the next three months on display in Norwich. Picture: Neil Didsbury

It follows last year's exhibition outside the NUA campus of Damien Hirst's Hymn. Caro's 4.3 tonne iron and steel art piece has been offered by the artist's estate as a free loan to the university.

The work of both Caro and Moore is being celebrated in several exhibitions this summer, with a selection of Moore's work being scattered across the grounds and invading some of the state rooms in Houghton Hall in the first major display of his work in the county from May 1 until September.

Prof Powell added: “In my view, the success of Damien Hirst, Tracy Emin and the YBAs would not have been possible without Caro shifting the entire compass of British art in the 20th Century.”

The intriguing new Caro sculpture outside the Norwich University of the Arts building on St George's St in the city. Picture: Neil DidsburyThe intriguing new Caro sculpture outside the Norwich University of the Arts building on St George's St in the city. Picture: Neil Didsbury

The exhibition is open from May 7 to July 20.

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