WHAT MICHEL ESTADES SAYS:
A passionate art dealer with 30 years’ expertise, Michel Estades loves sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm for his favourite artists. His 4 galleries permanently exhibit many 20th and 21st-century figurative artists, including the world’s greatest masters, masters from the Provencal and Lyon schools, modern and contemporary masters and a constant flow of talented new painters and sculptors.
Primarily, Caesar is an unusual individual who always cultivated his Southern France accent and candor.
“I am fundamentally completely self-taught.”
In 1935, he enrolled in the preparatory course for the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Marseille, France.
In 1943, he left the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Marseille for the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris and stayed there until 1954.
“I hung out in school for several years. Where else would you want to go? A school is a place where you have numerous material possibilities: you meet friends, you have a university cafeteria, you have social services. It is a bit like a family. There was also the 39-45 period, which unintentionally kept us longer there”, he would later say.
He worked with plaster and iron, among other materials, until he learned arc welding in 1949, which led him to turn to scrap metal.
“Carrara marble was too expensive, and old scrap iron was lying around. I became a sculptor because I was poor!”
Initially, he produced figurative and rather classical works. Welding together various pieces of found metal, he turned to his signature “Compressions” in 1960.
He joined the group of the new realists in 1961.
Later on, he experimented with “Les Expansions et des Empreintes Humaines” (enlarged casts of body parts).
Caesar was and still is a popular artist. However, the self-inflicted loathing he showed towards his art and the doubt he expressed about it probably worked against him.
He was not taken seriously until his death. Nonetheless, his public image has been rehabilitated through several exhibits, including a retrospective organized by his friend Jean Nouvel at the Fondation Cartier in 2008, titled “César Anthologie by Jean Nouvel”.
See the work of Grand Masters exhibited at the Estades Gallery