Honoring the centenary of the artist’s birth, the exhibition ranges from his Human Imprints from the 1960s and Expansions from the 1970s, to his Championnes and Compressions
conceived throughout his life. “Since the start of César’s career, the complex and performative nature of his practice has captured the attention of even the most suspect of viewers, which included James Baldwin,” explains a statement from the gallery. Underpinning ‘César: Sacred Anarchy’ is Baldwin’s articulation of César’s artistic contributions. The pair first met in a nightclub in Paris in the 1970s, where the esteemed American writer enjoyed the artist’s work from their first encounter, in particular César’s piece titled ‘Pouce’—a massive marble sculpture based on César’s own thumb. (A towering bronze version of Pouce (1965/1988, cast 2019) is part of Salon 94’s exhibit.) It has been said that this sculpture expresses César’s irreverence for the high art world, giving the thumb, so to speak, to the French postwar milieu.