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Artist Boss – Bath Spa University

With a specific focus on Sir Anthony Caro and his studio assistants, Artist Boss examines master/pupil relationships, practical pedagogy, and the lineage of ideas passed down in the studio.

Artist Boss is a creative research project that brings together artists, curators, students, academics and the general public to examine sculpture and the role of the studio assistant to raise questions concerning the status of production, originality, authenticity, and authorship within the tradition of twentieth-century British sculpture.

The project focuses specifically on Sir Anthony Caro and his studio assistants to look at this ‘traditional’ role and its impact on making and artists’ careers today. The project asks how does it affect making and what happens to the assistants?

It involves a series of exhibitions, a publication, a website with learning resources, talks and events. It creates access to new work and engages new audiences with sculpture.


Project Director, Jenny Dunseath, is a London based artist and Senior Lecturer at Bath Spa. After graduating from the Royal Academy of Art she worked as an assistant in Caro’s studio, and this first-hand insight triggered this project’s interest in master/pupil relationships, practical pedagogy, and the lineage of ideas passed down in the studio.


The research provides first-hand insight into the studio methodologies and practice concerns of established, mid-career and emerging artists. By pursuing this line of enquiry, Artist Boss seeks to reveal a new unchartered approach on the reading of Caro’s work and legacy in sculpture today in order to stimulate new possibilities, and open-up creative thinking for students, academics, artists, and the general public.

Outputs, Outcomes, Impact

  • An exhibition at The New Arts Centre, Roche Court shows four mid-career artists and Caro’s work. November 2016 - January 2017
  • An exhibition at The Cut in Suffolk presents new works by emerging artists associated with Caro’s studio September - October 2016
  • The final chapter is an exhibition at Bath School of Art and Design, which brings together the exhibitions in an academic context for students and the general public. Dec 2016 - January 2017

The publication ‘Artist Boss: Anthony Caro’s studio assistants and issues of legacy in British Sculpture’ includes original interviews with former assistants, writers and critics. Published by Wunderkammer Press, it is set for release in July 2016 and features Anthony Caro, Tim Marlow (Artistic Director of The Royal Academy of Art) and the work of Rembrandt, Bernini, Hirst, Kapoor and many more.

The website chronicles the whole project and provides free downloadable learning resources for students, teachers and academics.



Co curator and co editor: Dr Mark Wilsher, Norwich University of the Arts

Discussion groups:
Prof Jon Isherwood, Bennington College
Ian Dawson, Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton

Contributions from:
Professor K P Cross, Berkeley
Professor Shaun Cassidy, Winthrop
Dr Michael Petry
Sam Cornish, UK curator and writer
Karen Wilkin, US author and critic
Tim Marlow, Artistic Director, Royal Academy of Art


BA & MA students of Fine Art at Bath School of Art and Design.

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