The motif of the line is at the core of Anthony Caro’s practice, which has been termed ‘drawing in space’. Working with common building materials, such as steel rods, girders and I-beams, Caro’s abstract sculptures explore the three-dimensional potential of line, balancing materiality and gesture with the illusion of weightlessness. Caro always considered the way a sculpture relates to the human body. Many of his large-scale sculptures are placed directly on the ground, to human level, which emphasises their relationship with space, while his table sculptures (one of which is displayed in this room) are made on a human scale.
Perhaps best known for his minimalistic yarn sculptures, Fred Sandback introduced line into his work early on in his career. He stretched single strands of coloured material, often elastic cord or yarn, point-to-point, to create near intangible shapes that appear to morph between intersecting lines, pictorial planes and three-dimensional structures. By rejecting some of sculpture’s principal characteristics, such as weight and mass, Sandback reduced the object to its physical outlines, materialised in colour. Sandback’s sculptures engage closely with the architecture of their given location, existing in everyday ‘pedestrian’ space, where the artworks are removed from their pedestal to allow the viewers to actively engage with them as they move through and experience the space.