César (César Baldaccini)

Large Panel


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Not on display

César (César Baldaccini) 1921–1998
Original title
Grand panneau
Object: 2030 × 1690 × 552 mm
Presented by J. Sainsbury Ltd 1960

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In his sculptures, César combined abstract structures with images evocative of a figurative subject. This approach is characteristic of many artists of this period. He also sought techniques capable of bridging the gap between modern technologies and art. In this work a formal, expressive interest is created by the technique of welding small pieces of steel together to make a large panel. It was César's intention to evoke an imaginary animal, resembling a moth with body and wings.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

César born 1921

T00337 Grand Panneau (Large Panel) 1958

Inscribed 'Cesar' at one corner of base
Welded steel, 98 x 68 3/4 x 21 3/4 (248.5 x 174.5 x 55.3) including integral base
Presented by J. Sainsbury Ltd. 1960
Prov: J. Sainsbury Ltd., London (purchased from the artist through the Galerie Claude Bernard)
Exh: César, Galerie Claude Bernard, Paris, May-June 1959 (no catalogue)
Repr: Studio, CLXIII, 1962, p.9 (incorrectly dated 1959); Pierre Restany, César (Monte-Carlo 1975), pl.38 and detail pl.37 as 'Flat Sculpture' 1958

This sculpture, which is made of welded steel, is a unique piece. Plans to cast it in bronze were later abandoned as it was thought that the result would be unsatisfactory.

The artist said on 31 May 1973 that his intention was to make an organic form, not one that was completely abstract. The sculpture was like an imaginary animal, with some resemblance to a moth, with body and wings; it was still related to sculptures such as 'Man of Saint-Denis', though more simplified and abstracted.

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

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