As the title suggests, Piece LXXIV is the 74th work in a series by Anthony Caro, called “table sculptures,” that would span nearly four decades. Caro is widely credited for changing the way three-dimensional works are displayed: in 1960, he began creating large-scale steel constructions that, unlike traditional sculpture, were placed directly on the floor. Just six years later, he began a series of smaller-scale works that would balance on and extend off the surface of a table.
In the words of the artist, “My Table Pieces are not models inhabiting a pretence [sic] world, but relate to a person like a cup or a jug. Since the edge is basic to the table, all the Table Pieces make use of this edge, which itself becomes an integral element of the Piece.” Like many of Caro’s table sculptures, Piece LXXIV’s convex and concave curvilinear forms balance in harmonious opposition, seeming to defy gravity.