(Marseille, France 1921 – Paris, France 1998)

He studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Marseille and in Paris, where he definitely moved in 1946. His first sculptures used in metal and plaster, intertwined wire and embossed lead foil, and in 1952 he used welded metal to create his first solo exhibition with the famous series Animaux en ferraille. In the 1960s he adhered to Nouveau Réalisme. Exploiting industrial and waste materials, he conceived his aluminium Compressions of car parts, and later the polyurethane Expansions. At the same time he created traditional pieces, like his bronzes depicting female nudes or the series of colored plastic Pouces. In 1976 a great traveling retrospective exhibition introduced his sculptures to the European public and confirmed him as one of the greatest French artists of the period. Recalling Duchamp’s readymade objects, César exhibited as works of art the mechanically pressed waste material from cars, cans, bullets, and aluminum, in which the interplay of light with the pressed aluminum creates a vibrant relationship of chromatism and volumes. He participated in several editions of Documenta, Kassel, and in the 1956 and 1995 Venice Biennale.


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