César

César
(as used in expressions)
Alexandre César Léopold Bizet
Dumont d'Urville Jules Sébastien César
Faidherbe Louis Léon César
Franck César Auguste
La Harpe Frédéric César de
Milstein César

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▪ 1999

      French sculptor (b. Jan. 1, 1921, Marseille, France—d. Dec. 6, 1998, Paris, France), was one of Europe's most controversial contemporary artists. He was at the forefront of the New Realism movement with his radical compressions (compacted automobiles, discarded metal, or rubbish), expansions (polyurethane foam sculptures), and fantastic representations of animals and insects. The son of Italian immigrants, César quit school at the age of 12 in order to work, but three years later he enrolled in evening classes at a local art academy. In 1943 he won a scholarship to the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. With his artistic vision shaped by poverty, he utilized the most economical of materials for sculptures and became a founder of the New Realism movement, which blended elements of the Arte Povera movement of Italy—which emphasized raw and unprocessed materials—and the French Matiéristes, who focused on "found objects." His first solo art show was in 1954 at the Galerie Lucien Durand in Paris, and his first compression appeared in 1958. César used a hydraulic press to form many of his compressions, and he occasionally used a welding torch or sledgehammer. One composition featured thousands of crushed counterfeit Cartier watches that had been seized by customs officials. His sensational gigantic "Sein" was modeled on a cabaret dancer's breast and molded in pink polyester resin. In 1968, during a black-tie reception in London at the Tate Gallery, César created a stir by producing, from a mixture of chemicals, a liquid foam expansion onto the floor. One of his more widely available works, reproduced in many sizes for commercial sale, was a representation of his thumb; "Le Pouce," a 12-m (40-ft-)-tall version of his digit, was placed in the skyscraper-strewn Parisian quarter of La Défense. César's most massive work was a 520-ton barrier of compressed automobiles erected at the Venice Biennale in 1995. His work bore influences of Pablo Picasso, French sculptor Germaine Richier, Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti, and the loosely geometric abstract creations of British artist Anthony Caro. Because his creations were often interpreted as critiques of consumerism, César's consumer-waste sculptures were sometimes compared to Andy Warhol's Pop art. César, however, refused to be grouped or unduly influenced by the categorizations of the art world. He also became an emblem for filmmaking. In 1975 the French film industry commissioned him to design its annual award, the César, a compression-styled gold statuette bearing (by intent) absolutely no resemblance to its American cousin, the Oscar. In 1976 César was made a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour.

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▪ French sculptor
in full  César Baldaccini  
born January 1, 1921, Marseille, France
died December 6, 1998, Paris

      French sculptor who was at the forefront of the New Realism movement with his radical compressions (compacted automobiles, discarded metal (scrap metal), or rubbish), expansions (polyurethane foam sculptures), and fantastic representations of animals and insects.

      The son of Italian immigrants, César quit school at age 12 in order to work, but three years later he enrolled in evening classes at a local art academy. In 1943 he won a scholarship to the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. With his artistic vision shaped by poverty, he utilized the most economical of materials for sculptures and became a founder of the New Realism movement, which blended elements of the Arte Povera movement of Italy—which emphasized raw and unprocessed materials—and the French Matiéristes, who focused on “found objects” (objets trouvés). His first solo art show was in 1954 at the Galerie Lucien Durand in Paris, and his first compression was exhibited in 1958.

      César used a hydraulic press to form many of his compressions, and he occasionally used a welding torch or sledgehammer. One composition featured thousands of crushed counterfeit Cartier watches that had been seized by customs officials. His sensational gigantic Sein was modeled on a cabaret dancer's breast and molded in pink polyester resin. One of his more widely available works, reproduced in many sizes for commercial sale, was a representation of his thumb; Le Pouce, a 12-metre (40-foot) version, was erected in the Parisian quarter of La Défense. César's most massive work was a 520-ton barrier of compressed automobiles erected at the Venice Biennale in 1995.

      His work bore influences of Pablo Picasso, French sculptor Germaine Richier, Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti, and the loosely geometric abstract creations of British artist Anthony Caro. Because his creations were often interpreted as critiques of consumerism, César's consumer-waste sculptures were sometimes compared to Andy Warhol's Pop art. César, however, refused to be grouped or unduly influenced by the categorizations of the art world.

      In 1975 the French film industry commissioned him to design its annual award, the César, a compression-styled gold statuette quite distinct from its older American cousin, the Oscar. In 1976 César was made a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour.

      departamento, northern Colombia, bounded on the northeast by Venezuela and on the southwest by the Magdalena River. Created in 1967, the departamento descends from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in the north and the Sierra de Perijá in the northeast to the lowlands of the Magdalena River valley. It is traversed by the César River, a tributary of the Magdalena. Cotton, rice, and corn (maize) are the principal crops, and cattle raising is widespread. Industry centres on Valledupar, the departmental capital, but is of less importance than agriculture. César is traversed north to south by the Santa Marta–Bogotá railroad (the Atlantic Railway), and highways from Santa Marta, Cúcuta, and Ríohacha lead through César to Valledupar. Area 8,844 square miles (22,905 square km). Pop. (2007 est.) 929,096.

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Universalium. 2010.

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