GREATER PARIS - - [Contents] Sommaire - By Pa­tri­cia Va­li­cen­ti

Cé­sar, the Re­tros­pec­tive Cé­sar, la ré­tros­pec­tive

The Centre Pom­pi­dou is paying tri­bute to the ico­nic French ar­tist Cé­sar in an ex­hi­bi­tion that coin­cides with the 20th an­ni­ver­sa­ry of his death. Al­rea­dy illus­trious by the time he was 25-years-old, Cé­sar’s ar­tis­tic crea­tion span­ned five de­cades. He is the last ma­jor fi­gure of the New Rea­lism whose works had not yet been the ob­ject of a re­tros­pec­tive. The show brings to­ge­ther some 100 works in the lar­gest ex­hi­bi­tion gallery of the Centre Pom­pi­dou and aims to of­fer a dis­co­ve­ry in­to the ar­tis­tic jour­ney of one of the grea­test sculp­tors of his time show­ca­sing the most ce­le­bra­ted of his ma­jor works along with some that are less well known.

Born in Mar­seille in 1921, he stu­died in Pa­ris at the Ecole Na­tio­nal Su­pé­rieure des Beaux-arts. In Pa­ris he would meet, among others, Al­ber­to Gia­co­met­ti and Pa­blo Pi­cas­so and be­come part of the ar­tis­tic scene in Saint-ger­main and Mont­par­nasse. He would qui­ck­ly be no­ti­ced for a tech­nique of his own, sculp­tures in solid wel­ded me­tals re­pre­sen­ting hu­man fi­gures, the Ve­nus pieces and a bes­tia­ry of his own in­ven­tion po­pu­la­ted by fan­tas­tic re­pre­sen­ta­tions of in­sects and all kinds of ani­mals. His first per­so­nal ex­hi­bi­tion at the Ga­le­rie Lu­cien Du­rand was held in 1954 fol­lo­wed by shows in Lon­don and New York.

He jux­ta­po­sed the mas­te­ry of the pro­fes­sion of sculp­tor with in­no­va­tive ges­tures lea­ding to the uni­que­ness of his works. One of his most sur­pri­sing tech­niques and most fa­mous were his Com­pres­sions in which he em­ployed as ma­te­rials com­pac­ted au­to­mo­biles, dis­car­ded me­tal or rub­bish. His Com­pres­sions would be re­gar­ded as one of the most ra­di­cal ges­tures of 20th cen­tu­ry sculp­ture and were in­ter­pre­ted by nu­me­rous ar­tists. His Com­pres­sions would be fol­lo­wed by the Ex­pan­sions fol­lo­wed by among others his hu­man im­prints. From De­cem­ber 13th through to March 26th Place Georges Pom­pi­dou (4th), 01 44 78 12 33 www.cen­tre­pom­pi­dou.fr

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