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

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  • William Tucker, 'Unfold' 1963
    William Tucker
    Unfold 1963
    Painted aluminium
    object: 711 x 1172 x 1340 mm
    Presented by Alistair McAlpine (later Lord McAlpine of West Green) 1970© William Tucker
  • Sir Anthony Caro, 'Early One Morning' 1962
    Sir Anthony Caro
    Early One Morning 1962
    Painted steel and aluminium
    object: 2896 x 6198 x 3353 mm
    Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1965© Anthony Caro/Barford Sculptures Ltd
  • Phillip King, 'Tra-La-La' 1963
    Phillip King
    Tra-La-La 1963
    object: 2743 x 762 x 762 mm
    Presented by Alistair McAlpine (later Lord McAlpine of West Green) 1970© 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 BolusTim 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.