César Biography


César (César Baldaccini) was a French sculptor, born in Marseilles of Italian parents. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Marseilles (1935-39) and at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris (1943-48). César started to make sculptures by welding together pieces of scrap metal in 1952 and first made his reputation with solid welded sculptures of insects, various kinds of animals, nudes, etc. His first one-man exhibition was at the Galerie Lucien Durand, Paris in 1954 and he began in 1960 to make compressions by compressing car bodies into dense packages. Later the same year, César joined the group Nouveaux Réalistes with Arman, Klein, Raysse, Tinguely, Pierre Restany and others. He started in 1965 to work with plastics, first with plastic moulds of human imprints, then from 1966 by pouring expanded polyurethane which was allowed to expand and solidify. César later gave up making welded metal sculpture in 1966. His later works also included sculptures made out of molten crystal.