Hommage à César


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Almine Rech is delighted to announce a momentous exhibition of French sculptor César celebrating the centenary of his birth, taking place in Picasso’s historic studio at Boisgeloup (Gisors, France).

César (born January 1, 1921, Marseille, France—died December 6, 1998, Paris) is best known for his use of compressed cars or « Compressions », recycled metals, fantastic representations of animals and insects, and expansions. This exhibition will feature a selection of works by the artist set throughout the enchanting setting of the 18th century Château de Boisgeloup, from Picasso’s former studio itself to the 13th century chapel and dovecote.

After studying fine arts from 1935 to 1939 in Marseille, then in Paris from 1943 to 1947, César met Pablo Picasso in Paris in 1956 at the Lucien Durand gallery, while working on his first iron and plaster sculptures.
The presentation will commemorate the two artists' friendship and mutual admiration.

The photographs taken in 1932 by Brassaï in Picasso’s studio at Boisgeloup, revealing his work as a sculptor, inspired Almine Rech's vision for in this in-situ exhibition. César’s work, as exhibited in Picasso’s empty studio, echoes and creates a dialogue between the two masters, in turn evoking the feeling of César’s own studio.

The special presentation will be on view for four weekends only during the month of October, 2021.

The photographs taken in 1932 by Brassaï in Picasso’s studio at Boisgeloup, revealing his work as a sculptor, are what inspired Almine Rech in this in-situ exhibition. César’s work, thus exhibited in Picasso’s empty studio, echoes and creates a conversation between the two masters, in turn, evoking the feeling of César’s own studio.

The exhibition will feature one of his most well-known works, a large-scale bronze of his own thumb, Le Pouce. A 3.50 meter version will be installed in the park between the Studio and the château.

On display will be pieces from different periods, including a series of never-before-seen small plasters, portraits of Picasso by César, as well as a welded bronze titled Picasso, in which Picasso’s face is superimposed on that of César.

The welded bronze sculpture Les Roberts d’Evelyne will be exhibited in the studio along with works from other series, and the famous Poule à ailettes part of the series of Poules patineuses, from 1985, presented in the old dovecote.

César represented France at the 1995 Venice Biennale, and today his work can be found in the collections of prominent institutions around the world, including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Tate Gallery in London, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, among others. César died on December 6, 1998 in Paris, France.