‘Compression’ (c.1970), a metal compression measuring 11 x 11 x 3in (28 x 28 x 7cm) by French sculptor César. Prices for compressions range from €30,000-60,000 at the exhibition at Galerie Alexis Pentcheff.

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The exhibition at Galerie Alexis Pentcheff, which follows the major retrospective at the Pompidou centre in Paris (closed March 23) runs until July 12. It includes photographs and historical documents chronicling the artist’s process and artistic career along with his sculptures.

His was at the forefront of the Nouveau Réalisme movement and specialised in compressions (of automobiles and discarded metal), expansions and fantastic representations of animals.

His work, inspired by earlier artists such as Duchamp and Giacometti, commented on mass consumption and large-scale industrialisation.

Born César Baldaccini, he was classically trained but in the late 1940s started making his zoomorphic works using the technique of autogenous welding. In the following years he started to create his compressions after watching a hydraulic crushing machine in operation.