CésarCompression de vélos
Compressed bikes
23.62 x 14.57 x 11.02 in ( 60 x 37 x 28 cm )
Inquiry - Compression de vélos, 1975


Archives Denyses Durand-Ruel n°2876


Private Collection, France

Artwork's description

   César is one of the greatest sculptors of the 20th century, he marked his passage in the art world with his compressed objects. Affiliated with the New Realists movement, he uses everyday objects to create his works.

This compression is very emblematic of his work. Using a hydraulic press he will compress the bikes he has chosen beforehand and arrange them according to the rendering he wants to obtain. In this, it stands out from neo-realism, because it clearly affirms a subjectivity as to the aesthetics of the final work. The elements that make up the object are upset, both in their appearance and in their location. Bikes are no longer bicycles and by signing the end result, the artist makes it his own. According to Pierre Restany “The compressions are totems that will become iconic. "

Artist's biography

Cesar is the sculptor of the twentieth century par excellence. The genius of this artist is linked to an existential adventure, highlighting his love and demanding side of the material, his dazzle for modern nature, as well as his temperament as a visionary researcher with a perpetually new look. From 1958 and especially from 1960, we observe his first automobile cuts. It all begins with his Iron Age, establishing himself with its bestiary as the master of welded metal. Then follow the nudes and plaques in response by the artist to the revelation of the frontality.

In 1967, he reissued the tour de force, still at the "Salon de mai", by presenting his Great orange expansion, a flow of expanded polyurethane. And there again, his "flows" will dominate this whole sector of expressiveness.

In the 1970s, César tackled the treatment of the most diverse materials: glass (Dam 1969), gold and silver (Bijoux, 1971); Plexiglas (1972); thermoformed moldings (Self-portrait, 1972). He then returned in the late 1970s to his original irons, which he reshaped and welded in bronze. In the 1980s, he saw large monumental compositions appear in his home: The Centaur, a masterpiece of statuary of all times, and the Homage to Eiffel, with a giant plate 17 meters high.

César was the icon of contemporary French art. Today, the best film actors are rewarded during the Césars ceremony with the presentation of a compression by the artist.

César - Compression de vélos, 1975