Art Term

New generation sculpture

New generation sculpture were a group of young British sculptors working in the 1960s, who experimented with materials, forms and colours with the shared aim of ridding sculpture of its traditional base

William Tucker, ‘Unfold’ 1963
William Tucker
Unfold 1963
Tate
© William Tucker
Sir Anthony Caro, ‘Early One Morning’ 1962
Sir Anthony Caro
Early One Morning 1962
Tate
Courtesy of Barford Sculptures Ltd
Phillip King, ‘Tra-La-La’ 1963
Phillip King
Tra-La-La 1963
Tate
© Phillip King

New Generation was the title used for a series of exhibitions of painting and sculpture by young British artists held at the Whitechapel Gallery in London in the early 1960s.

The second of the surveys in 1965 New Generation Sculpture brought to wide public attention the work of Phillip King, together with David Annesley, Michael Bolus, Tim Scott, William Tucker and Isaac Witkin. The term ‘new generation’ was subsquently generally applied to their work. All these artists had been taught by Sir Anthony Caro at St Martins School of Art in London and are sometimes referred to as School of Caro. In 1960 Caro had developed a completely new form of abstract sculpture using steel beams, sheets and tubes, welded and bolted together and painted in bright industrial colours.

King and the others soon developed their own work, exploring a basic vocabulary of sculptural form and using in addition materials such as plastic sheeting and fibreglass. New generation sculpture became a major phenomenon of British art in the 1960s.