Sir Anthony Caro Designs Gold 2012 Olympic Coin

Sir Anthony Caro

Artist Tom Phillips RA Designs The Silver

The British Sculptor, Sir Anthony Caro RA has designed the official Olympic gold commemorative coin, which was released today to the press,by the Royal Mint at London’s Royal Academy of Art. The UK’s first 1 Kilo coin was made in an edition of 60 and is valued at £100,000. A similar silver coin designed by the artist Tom Phillips worth £3,000 was also unveiled. The designs were approved by the Queen personally and both are legal tender in the UK. The verso of the coin features a depiction of Her Majesty by the artist Ian Rank-Broadley who has created all of the coinage bearing her image since 1998.
Caro’s coin illustrated how the games push body and mind to the limits as well as incoorperate a laurel wreath and the London 2012 logo,with sports equipment showing weightlifting, boxing, football and athletics.

Phillips’ design focuses on the concept of team work to achieve victory. The words “Unite our dreams to make the world a team of teams” spell out the ethos of the games and their heritage. It also includes flags depicting a sun for the Games  and the Olympic flame.
Both coins are accompanied by individually numbered Certificates of Authenticity. Sir Anthony Caro has personally signed and numbered the certificates for each gold Kilo coin.

Sir Anthony Caro (born 1924) has played a pivotal role in the development of twentieth century sculpture. After studying sculpture at the Royal Academy Schools in London, he worked as assistant to Henry Moore. He came to public attention with a show at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1963, where he exhibited large abstract sculptures brightly painted and standing directly on the ground so that they engage the spectator on a one-to-one basis. This was a radical departure from the way sculpture had hitherto been seen and paved the way for future developments in three-dimensional art.
Anthony Caro with Trojan War Sculptures Caro’s teaching at St Martin’s School of Art in London (1953-1981) was very influential. His questioning approach opened up new possibilities, both formally and with regard to subject matter. His innovative work as well as his teaching led to a flowering and a new confidence in sculpture worldwide.

Caro often works in steel, but also in a diverse range of other materials, including bronze, silver, lead, stoneware, wood and paper. Major exhibitions include retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1975), the Trajan Markets, Rome (1992), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (1995), Tate Britain, London (2005), and three museums in Pas-de-Calais, France (2008), to accompany the opening of his Chapel of Light at Bourbourg. He has been awarded many prizes, including the Praemium Imperiale for Sculpture in Tokyo in 1992 and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Sculpture in 1997. He holds many honorary degrees from universities in the UK, USA and Europe. He was knighted in 1987 and received the Order of Merit in May 2000.

Tom Phillips was born in London in 1937. He attended St Catherine’s College, Oxford in 1957, where he read English and at the same time studied drawing at the Ruskin School. In 1961 he went to Camberwell School of Art where his chief source of inspiration was Frank Auerbach. He went on to teach at Bath Academy of Art, Ipswich (where he taught musician/producer/artist Brian Eno) and Wolverhampton Art College between 1965 and 1972.

Phillips’s first solo show was in 1965 at the Artists International Association Gallery in London, followed by an exhibition at the Angela Flowers Gallery in 1970. He won first prize at The John Moores Liverpool Exhibition in 1969 and subsequently went on to exhibit in many solo and group exhibitions around the world.


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