Details & Cataloguing

Collection Marianne et Pierre Nahon


1921 - 1998
Executed in 1986.

This work is registered with the Denyse Durand-Ruel Archives under number 3638.

signed and dated 1986
compressed car
160 x 61 x 64 cm; 63 x 24 x 25 3/16 in.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report


Acquired from the above by the present owners


Paris, Galerie Beaubourg, Les Compressions 1959-1989, 1990; catalogue, p. 37, illustrated
Vence, Galerie Beaubourg, Château Notre-Dame des Fleurs, Les Nouveaux Réalistes, 26 June-31 October 1997
Monaco, Grimaldi Forum, L'instinct du fer, 2002; catalogue, p. 141, illustrated


Pierre Nahon, L'histoire de la Galerie Beaubourg I, 1936 - 1988, Paris, 2009, p. 171, illustrated in colour

Catalogue Note

For Cesar, art is an inspiration, a desire of conquest, an attempt at perfection rather than victory. He is convinced that to biggest is always to come. His work, beyond the obvious ruptures and creative cycles, should be understood as a series of waves, a map with roads that intersect and grow based on material circumstances and technical means.

Cesar did not wait for the New Realist manifesto to be scandalous. In 1960, he was already following in the footsteps of Rodin, Giacometti and Germaine Richier as a sculptor, and leading the group. Fifteen years later, Cesar had become a great classical sculptor: in 1960, he was at the avant-garde of contemporary art. At the end of 1976, Cesar was everywhere: at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la ville de Paris for a retrospective show, and in our gallery, where we exhibited his recent production, compressions.

We bought Cesar's artwork to exhibit them very early. We followed Cesar's work for several months and paid him visits in Nice where he was working on the compressions we wanted. The show was a great success. Reviews were all favorable. Even Jean-Jacques Leveque said: "let's give Cesar and his new realist companions some credit. They totally changed our vision of art, altered its social significance and reinforced its message. They are the most powerful witnesses of the specificity, aggressiveness and threat of our society."

The compressions and expansions are the avant-garde side of Cesar. After 1960, he conducted two works in parallel, one as a sculpture, and the other as a contemporary artist looking for new forms of expression.

Pierre Nahon

Collection Marianne et Pierre Nahon