From 15 April to 8 October 2023
At Uzès

Uzès Exposition II – César & Chabaud, deux artistes en liberté – Morceaux Choisis”, an immersion in the history of art in the 19th and 20th century.

The town of Uzès and Marc Stammegna, exhibition curator, will host the second edition of the Uzès Exhibition from 8 April to 15 October 2023, in the exceptional setting of the former Bishop’s Palace, which houses the Musée Georges Borias, a State-approved “Musée de France”.

This year’s exhibition will feature works by

  • Auguste Chabaud (1882 -1955): an expressionist and Fauvist artist, a master of colour, whose paintings are both striking in their harsh austerity and dazzling in their explosion of colours.
  • César (1921 – 1988): an incredible sculptor who created works of art using iron, bronze, marble and even polyurethane foam.

AUGUSTE CHABAUD (1882 -1955)

Born in Nîmes in 1882, Auguste Chabaud joined the “École des Beaux-Arts”, school of fine arts, in Avignon at the age of 15, before moving to Paris in 1899. In Paris, he attended private art school “Académie Carrière”, where he met Matisse, Derain, Puy and Laprade, and painted on the banks of the Seine.

In 1901, a major wine crisis in the South of France affected Chabaud’s parents’ vineyard, leaving them no longer able to support him. Chabaud returned to Graveson, in Provence, before working as a merchant navy cadet on a merchant ship for a few months.

In 1906, he moved back to Paris, alternating between stays in the capital and returns to Provence until the outbreak of the First World War. During this period, he produced powerful, direct work, both Fauvist and expressionist, which placed him in the ranks of the avant-garde. He frequented the “Moulin de la Galette” dance hall, the cabarets and the brothels of Montmartre, which became his favourite subjects.

In 1913, he participated in the Armory Show in New York – the International Exhibition of Modern Art, which would later travel to Chicago and Boston – alongside Picasso and other great names in painting. The critics praised him; foreign collectors were interested in him.

After the First World War, Chabaud settled permanently in Graveson. In 1921, he married Valentine Susini, with whom he had eight children. He took to painting scenes of rural life from his Provençal environment: landscapes, farmhouse views, agricultural scenes, still life.


CESAR (1921 – 1988)

French sculptor César Baldaccini, known as César, was born in Marseille on 1 January 1921. He first attended the “École des Beaux-Arts” in Marseille, and then the “École Nationale des Beaux-Arts” in Paris, where he was a student until 1954.

In 1946, he learned arc welding, a technique that would prove perfect for creating sculptures out of pieces of scrap metal, which became his preferred material.
1954 marked a turning point for César: This was the year in which he set up his studio in a small factory in the northern suburbs of Paris, which would remain his main place of work for twelve years. It was here that he created most of his welded iron pieces.

In 1958, César discovered the hydraulic press, and was captivated by the power of this American machine capable of reducing a car into the shape of a cube. This discovery proved a turning point in his artistic career.  He began to make his first “compressions”, using everyday objects from consumer society, to put the spotlight on mass consumption and industrialisation.

In 1965, for the exhibition “La Main, de Rodin à Picasso” (The Hand, from Rodin to Picasso), organised by the Claude Bernard Gallery in Paris, César cast his own thumb and made an enlargement of it. This marked his return to the bronze technique. Inspired by the myth that the Emperor Caesar used his thumb to indicate the fate of gladiators, the artist created the first replica of his own thumb, which he later produced in several sizes, including a 12-metre high thumb, which can be seen today on the Esplanade de la Défense in Paris.

His research for Le Pouce (The Thumb) led him to discover, in 1967, expanded polyurethane, a synthetic foam with the ability to expand and then “set” (harden) quickly.

In 1970, César was appointed a professor at the “École des Beaux-Arts” in Paris, where he taught up until 1986.

In 1976, the sculptor produced a first version of the trophy awarded at the “César Awards”, which he redesigned the following year to create the famous compression that is still used today to honour the greatest actors in the French film industry.