Paris, La Fondation Cartier


On the tenth anniversary of César's death, the Fondation Cartier has invited Jean Nouvel, who was a great friend of the late French artist, to curate an exhibition focusing on César's major works. Given that Nouvel is the architect who designed the Fondation Cartier, the show has a double resonance, as Nouvel has situated César's works in his own architecture, further bearing on the friendship between the artist and the architect.

The show features four typological groups of César's work: his welded iron sculptures, called "Fers"; his sculptures based on human hands, thumbs and women's breasts, called "Empreintes humaines"; his sculptures based on paint spillages called "Expansions"; and his "Compressions" of crushed cars. It underscores César's radical, conceptual approach to sculpture, his exploration of industrial materials, and his use of classical techniques versus experimental processes. In a touching introduction, Nouvel writes that it has been 10 years since César spoke to him about his fears of being misunderstood and not well-known. Nouvel has sought to rectify this in a very clear, striking exhibition that focuses on the complexity and contradictions behind César's work.


July 8 through October 26, 2008
Fondation Cartier
261 boulevard Raspail
75014 Paris
T. +33 (0)1 42 18 56 50