Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.
Cesar Baldaccini, known simply as César, is sometimes looked at as France’s answer to Andy Warhol. Celebrated as a pop artist, Cesar founded the Nouveaux Realiste group that paralleled the American Pop Art movement in the United States. The Nouveaux Realiste group included artists such as Yves Klein, Jean Tingeulu, Christo, Martial Rayasse, and Arman, just to name a few.
For the first time in 50 years César is exhibiting in the United States. “Cesar” at Luxembourg & Dayan in New York comprises 24 works that span the artist’s half-century career.
The show features examples from the “Compression,” “Human Imprint,” and “Expansion” series, as well as the Venusian iron sculpture Torso on loan from the collection at the Museum of Modern Art. “César” focuses in particular on the works from the 1960s and 1970s, where the artist challenged notions of classical and conceptual sculpture using postwar industrial materials.
César was born to Italian immigrants in the Belle de Mai quarter of Marseilles and enrolled in the École des Beaux-Arts in the early 1940s. It was here where his interest in welding technologies began. He experimented with sculpture influenced by postwar modernity, first with humanoid forms and eventually with his compressed squares, which were inspired by a nearby scrap metal factory.
The introduction of new materials such as polyurethane in the 1960s led César to expand his investigation of technology and space. The Expansion series is the result of this, as using these materials César was able to choose the tint and shape of his creations, which expanded and set in formations that were unfathomable before.
In conjunction with the New York exhibition, Lanvin creative director Alber Elbaz is paying tribute to the esteemed artist by displaying three of his monumental sculptures in front of the Lanvin flagship on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
“César” will be on display at Luxembourg & Dayan until January 18, 2014.