Catalogue entry

César born 1921

T00472 Papier arraché (Torn-away Paper) 1961

Inscribed 'Cesar' b.r.
Ink on paper, 65 x 49 1/8 (165 x 125)
Presented by J. Sainsbury Ltd. 1962
Prov: With Hanover Gallery, London (purchased from the artist); J. Sainsbury Ltd., London
Lit: Pierre Restany, César (Monte-Carlo 1975), p.115

César told the compiler on 31 May 1973 that he calls this technique 'papier arraché'. He made these works by coating the paper with a coloured ink, which was allowed to dry; then adding another layer of a different colour, which was also left to dry; and finally adding a third (black). The variegated patches and strips were produced by sticking strips of Sellotape onto the paper and tearing them off with different degrees of violence. A gentle pull would expose just one layer, whereas a violent rip might penetrate down to the white. He discovered this technique by accident.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.100, reproduced p.100