b. Marseille, 1 January 1921 – d. Paris, 6 December 1998
César was a French sculptor and member of the Nouveau Réalisme group. Throughout his career, he blew apart the principles of classical sculpture with a series of innovative gestures, including appropriation of the real, substitution of the artist’s hand, and exploration of contemporary materials. Inventive and guided by the accidental logic of his material, César took many diverse and sometimes even opposing approaches: he was the man behind Fers, Compressions, Expansions, and human Empreintes.
César’s works are part of collections of major institutions all over the world including the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Tate in London, and the MoMA in New York. In 2018, to mark the 25th anniversary of his death, the Pompidou Centre held an important retrospective of his work.