(French, 1921–1998) is famous for his sculptures of compressed industrial scrap metal
. Born in Marseille as César Baldaccini, César first studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in his home town and then at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he was inspired by the city’s art scene during World War II. In the early 1950s, César experimented with welded scrap metal sculptures, which resembled fantastical figures
. Influenced by the Nouveau Realism movement, he experimented with his now-famous technique of compressing industrial scrap metal and waste, such as old car bodies
, into dense packages. In the 1960s César used colorful, artificial materials such as polyurethane to create ironic fetishisms
of consumer culture; later in the decade, he briefly abandoned sculpture to perform and organize happenings. César’s work has exhibited widely with work shown in three documentas in Kassel, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, at the Musée d´Art Contemporain in Marseille, and at the Museum for Modern Art in Vienna. He was also the creator of the bronze award
of the César ceremony of French cinema. In 2008, the Fondation Cartier in Paris held a huge César retrospective, presenting not only his compressions but also his experiments with vertical forms. César died in Paris in 1998.