The Nourishing Relationship of Jules Olitski and Anthony Caro
An exhibition at Paul Kasmin Gallery offers a capsule vision of the relationship of the two artists during these formative years.
BY Karen Wilkin
From 1963 through 1965, the American painter Jules Olitski and the British sculptor Anthony Caro both taught at Bennington College in Vermont; the former was a faculty member, the latter an artist in residence. The ambitious young artists, along with the painter Kenneth Noland, who lived in the next town, saw each other almost daily, frequenting each other’s studios and exchanging ideas. In a letter to me in 1998, Olitski recalled this as the time when the three eager young men were “finding our way into making art. In those two or three years of close contact, we began to grow, for better or worse into the men we became, the artists we became. Through each other’s eyes, supportive and competitive, our art took off.” The contact was clearly important for all of them. Even after he returned to London, Caro traveled frequently to Vermont to make sculpture, stimulated by the proximity of his American painter friends.