(France) *1921 in Marseille; †1998 in Paris
In his early work, the French sculptor and object artist César (César Baldaccini) was influenced by Giacometti and Richier, whom he came to know following his studies in Paris. From 1960, in a climate of Nouveau Réalisme, César created his then sensational series “Compressions dirigées” (Controlled Compressions), using a hydraulic press to compress wrecked cars and other metal objects into cubic forms. Exploring the reverse, in terms of deformation, he went on to create his “Expansions” using a special polyurethane foam. Initially liquid, the foam massively expands in volume on contact with the air and quickly hardens. Pouring out this synthetic material and with no other intervention by the artist, César created abstract floor sculptures whose amorphous form is determined by the material alone. Unimpeded, the slowly moving mass would expand in space. In this, “Expansions” refers to our perception of volumes in space, and their relation to their surroundings. In “Blickachsen 9”, an “Expansion”, made for open-air exhibition in cast iron, is on display in Bad Homburg. Here the hardness of the material stands in contrast to the softness of form.