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The French artist César was a founder member in 1960 of the Nouveaux Réalistes group. Their aim was to engage directly with reality, transforming their material but fully retaining its identity. Before joining the group, César had already begun making sculptures from car bodies compressed into dense packages. In 1968 he visited London to give a sculpture-making demonstration, sponsored by the Friends of the Tate Gallery. While here, he visited a scrap metal merchant and asked that a number of standard compressions of wheel hubs be prepared for his inspection. This work was created by his selecting three from the forty or fifty made, and arranging them into the specific configurations seen here.

August 2004