The Little Art Seeker is back for a new year and many upcoming exhibitions!
For you,we saw the amazing exhibition dedicated to the great sculptor César,in Beaubourg.The show is really interesting for families and kids will also enjoy it!
The sculptor César died 20 years ago and the retrospective represents a wide range of his talent during his fifty-year career.
César was inspired by great masters of the 20th century as Picasso and Giacometti and balancing between Classicism and Modernism ,he managed to produce a very genuine and audacious work .
Born in Marseille in 1921,in 1946 César discovered Paris and some of the avant-gardistes sculptors who like Picasso and Modigliani were partly famous because of their heterogenous assemblages.
He became a major figure on the post-war art scene with his « Welded irons ».The man had no money and for an artist needed materials to create but he couldn’t afford to pay for the traditional marble and bronze.
Moreover,he started using scrap iron and in 1949 discovered something incredible for a young creator :the industrial technique of arc-welding which allowed him to bend sheet metal,cut it and also to insert in his creations small items such as screws,nuts ,bolts,nails and pipes.
The Little Art Seeker adored the huge sculptures representing animals and the children will enjoy admiring these fantastic creatures popping up with an unbridled imagination!!!
In 1955,César began to make his first wings some of which took the form of winged men and the Plaques series.
There was a real poetry coming from the material used and the way he accumulated,juxtaposed and intermingled them with a repeated application of oil to the metal at different degrees of heat.
The results are just gorgeous and along with these abstract pieces ,he kept producing figurative works such as Pacholette,our favorite along with Fanny ,the great ostrich.
César became friends with the art historian Douglas Cooper around 1956.Cooper introduced him to Picasso ,whose sculptures fascinated César.
In 1960,the year of the first compressions ,César produced an Hommage to Douglas Cooper,while Cooper published the first monograph on César from which the text below is taken.
(…)Always poverty stood between César and his aspirations.He was never able to choose the materials of his art but was obliged to content himself with whatever he could lay his hands on.However necessity as so often proved the mother of invention,and César’s strength is that he never tamely accepted handicaps but wrestled with his materials to extract the maximum from them. »
In 1958,César brought back bales of compacted metal to his studio intending to use them in a work but ended up by appreciating them as sculptures in themselves.
At the salon de Mai 1960,he showed three bales of compressed motor cars and in 1961,he started making what he called « Controlled Compressions ».
Compressions were created with cars ,in 1968 ,a Renault Dauphine was squashed flat,rather than being compacted into a cube ,preserving the identity of the car .
The artist went on compacting cars and produced series of mural compressions such as « The championnes »,old Peugeot rally cars squashed into rectangular pannels or the « Suite Milanaise »with gleaming and flashy monochromes.
César is an original who wants to avoid the academicism of the topic and decides once more to use his own technique .He will make of his own hand an endless pattern and will reproduce his thumb by enlarging the cast ,using a new material ,synthetic resin.
The thumb will become his trademark and he will reproduce it in several versions and sizes and materials(plastic,nickel,bronze,marble and even gold and sugar.
In the same way ,César cast the breast of a dancer at the Crazy horse in Paris.
The rest of the exhibition is dedicated to César’s expansions.The expansions were realized with a new material ,polyurethane foam,produced from a liquid mixture that expands enormously with the addition of freon.
César would decide how to pour the swelling mixture:quickly or slowly but also controlled its direction and its shape.The result is really funny but as they were very fragile the first Expansions were ephemeral works.It’s only in 1969 that the artist found a way to make them durable by using fibreglass-reinforced resin for hardening the surface of the work.
So if you visit Paris with your kids or with friends or with your soul mate ,run to see this huge retrospective dedicated to one of the most creative sculptor of the 20th century César,the Little Art Seeker warmly recommends it.At the end of the exhibition take a coffee on the roof terrace of the museum with its breathtaking view over Paris!