Masque (double autoportait)

Technique: mixed media on wood
45.5 x 45.5 cm
bottom, right
on request



Baldaccini César (1921 – 1998)

Born in Marseille, son of Italian immigrants, he quitted school very early, aged 12, but then he enrolled in evening classes of art in his hometown. In 1943 he won a scholarship to the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and he developed his own artistic vision, shaped by poverty: he started using economical and junk materials to create his sculptures, influenced by Picasso, the French artist Germaine Richier, Alberto Giacometti and Anthony Caro. In 1954 occurred his first one-man exhibition, at Galerie Lucien Durand. He then joined the New Realism movement (together with Klein, Arman, Raysse, Tinguely), that blended elements from the Italian Arte Povera movement and the Matiéristes in France, focused on the aesthetics of found objects. After visiting a metal industry, he got hit by the use of the hydraulic press, and decided to use it on his own artworks, astonishing his followers by presenting three cars crushed at an exhibition in Paris, these compressions made him worldwide popular. He later operated using plastic, crystal and bronze, realizing big-sized sculptures. In 1975 the French film industry commissioned him to design its annual award, a compression-styled gold statuette, very dissimilar from its cousin, the Oscar. He died in Paris.