Allan Stone Projects is pleased to present Arman and César on view March 26-June 6, 2015. Selected from the Allan Stone Collection, the exhibition highlights significant works by two of the most prominent artists of the French artist group, Nouveau Réalisme. Arman was a founding member and César was a major participant. Together they exemplify the collective’s mission to connect art with life in an age of mass production. The approximately twenty objects in the exhibition, dating from 1954 to 1998, demonstrate the two artist’s similar development of inventive sculptural techniques and the use of nontraditional materials, everyday objects, refuse, factory materials, and synthetics in Post-War art.
Arman’s work is informed by the ready-made mindset of Dada and the everyman culture of Pop Art. Creating assemblages of paintbrushes, watches, telephones, keys, and musical instruments suspended in resin or staged in Plexiglas boxes, Arman explored the artistic implications of ordinary objects in a new age of precision and mechanical reproduction. By making these objects unusable, Arman generated a sense of instability and disorder that reflected the tumultuous social and political era of the 1960’s worldwide.
Despite his classical education, César was interested in the world of factory labor and the use of reclaimed materials. César pioneered sculptural applications for scrap-metal, car bodies, plastics, and later, molten crystal. His early art of the late 1950’s symbolizes the brutality on earthly life post-World War II through his disfigured metal sculptures that have been welded or compressed. By 1966, César gave up welded sculpture and explored polyurethane and molten crystal to create figural molds. The artist helped forge new territory for sculptural creations through unconventional materials and their unforeseen uses.
Arman was born Armand Fernandez, in France, in 1928. He studied at École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Nice, and at École du Louvre in Paris. During his career he had more than 600 solo-exhibitions, including retrospectives at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts in 1991 and at the Jeu de Paume in 1998. His work is included in numerous collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Tate Modern, and Centre Pompidou. The artist died in New York in 2005.
César was born César Baldaccini, in Marseilles, France, in 1921. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Marseilles and at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Over his career César had many gallery exhibitions and major museum retrospectives, including the Venice Biennale in 1995, and Paris’ Jeu de Paume in 1997. César is represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Modern in London, Centre Pompidou in Paris, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Korea, and numerous other public and private collections. César died in Paris in 1998.