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Sculptor Sir Anthony Caro dies, aged 89

The Surrey-born artist was one of the finest sculptors of his generation

Sir Anthony Caro, an artist credited with changing the face of sculpture in Britain, has died at the age of 89.

His family confirmed this morning that he suffered a sudden heart attack on Wednesday.

Sir Nicholas Serota, director of Tate, called Sir Anthony "one of the outstanding sculptors of the past fifty years".

He said: "Caro was a man of great humility and humanity whose abundant creativity, even as he approached the age of 90, was still evident in the most recent work shown in exhibitions in Venice and London earlier this year."

Sir Anthony was still working and had opened a new exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery in London this June.

The sculptor, who was born in Surrey, had vowed not to retire, saying he would "be bored" if he did not have his work adding: "I've chosen a very pleasant life because it's something I like doing."

Sir Anthony still worked every weekday at the same studio in Camden where he had worked for the past 40 years.

Click here to see pictures of his most recent exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery in London

His breakthrough came in 1963 with an exhibition at the Whitechapel London Gallery, with a series of large abstract steel sculptures. They were seen as particularly radical as they stood on the ground rather than on a plinth.

He told The Independent in June: "Sculpture did have some assumptions and some, well, rules almost, and I broke those rules. That opened things up not just for me but other artists as well."

Sir Anthony studied sculpture at the Royal Academy Schools before worked closely with another great 20th century British sculptor Henry Moore early in his career. He taught at St Martin's School of Art in London between 1953 and 1981.

He won a string of prizes including the Praemium Imperiale for Sculpture in Tokyo in 1992 and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Sculpture in 1997. He was knighted in 1987 and received the Order of Merit at the turn of the century.