Yves Klein – Enfant Terrible and Visionary

“Le Saut dans le vide”, 5, rue Gentil-Bernard, Fontenay-aux-Roses, October 1960, Artistic action by Yves Klein. Title of the work by Yves Klein in his newspaper “Sunday 27 November 1960”: “A man in space! The painter of space throws himself into the void!” 1960 © Adagp, Paris 2007. Yves Klein, Leap into the Void (Saut dans le Vide), Fontenay-aux-Roses, France, October 1960. The Photographer was Harry Shunk (German, Reudnitz 1924–2006 New York).

About this Artwork

As in his carefully choreographed paintings in which he used nude female models dipped in blue paint as paintbrushes, Klein’s photomontage paradoxically creates the impression of freedom and abandon through a highly contrived process. In October 1960, Klein hired the photographers Harry Shunk and Jean Kender to make a series of pictures re-creating a jump from a second-floor window that the artist claimed to have executed earlier in the year. This second leap was made from a rooftop in the Paris suburb of Fontenay-aux-Roses. On the street below, a group of the artist’s friends from held a tarpaulin to catch him as he fell. Two negatives one showing Klein leaping, the other the surrounding scene (without the tarp) were then printed together to create a seamless “documentary” photograph. To complete the illusion that he was capable of flight, Klein distributed a fake broadsheet at Parisian newsstands commemorating the event. It was in this mass-produced form that the artist’s seminal gesture was communicated to the public and also notably to the Vienna Actionists.

About Yves Klein

Yves Klein (French, Nice 1928–1962 Paris) was the most influential, prominent, and controversial French artist to emerge in the 1950s. He is remembered above all for his use of a single color, the rich shade of ultramarine that he made his own: International Klein Blue. But the success of his sadly short-lived career lay in attacking many of the ideas that underpinned the abstract painting that had been dominant in France since the end of the Second World War. For some critics he is a descendent of Marcel Duchamp, a prankster who lampooned settled understandings of painting and opened art up to new media. Others consider him as a descendant of earlier avant-garde artists such as Kazimir Malevich and Aleksander Rodchenko, who were also attracted to the monochrome. And even in the ways he used performance later on in his career, he is like many artists who rediscovered some of the tactics of earlier avant-gardes in the 1950s and ’60s. Klein might also be compared to his contemporary Joseph Beuys, for, like Beuys, he embraced aspects of Romanticism and mysticism – Klein was intrigued by Eastern religion and Rosicrucianism, and was even influenced by judo. Also like Beuys, many have condemned him as an obscurantist and a charlatan: yet the brevity, wit, and seductive beauty of much of his work continues to inspire.

More Artwork by Yves Klein

 

Yves Klein - Petite Venus bleue

Yves Klein: ‚Petite Vénus Bleue‘, 1956/57, Sculpture with IKB (International Klein Bleue) pigmented bronze mounted in an object box, lined with gold leaf, The sculpture is mounted perpendicularly to a gold-leafed, acrylic backdrop that attaches to a gold-leafed acrylic base. The acrylic box that encloses the object can be removed. The dimensions with the box are: 4 13/16 x 3 3/8 x 3 3/8 inches. The sculpture is approximately: 2 1/4 h. x 1 x 3/16 inches. Edition of 500, numbered 67 / 500. Literature: Marie Raymond et Yves Klein, Editions Expressions Contemporaines, page 173, Yves Klein, Bijoux-Sculptures, Editions Gallimard, page 65. Price € 11.500,-

Yves Klein - Petite Venus bleue

 

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Yves Klein: ‘Victoire de Samothrace (The Victory of Samothrace)', 1962

 

Yves Klein: ‘Victoire de Samothrace (The Victory of Samothrace), 1962, Synthetic resin, stone, metal and pigment. Sculpture realized by Yves Klein in 1962 in painted plaster IKB blue and with a stone he found in the garden of his mother. Dimensions:  51,5 x 25,5 x 25 cm / Base 7 x 14,5 x 21 cm. From the edition of 175, incised with the artist’s initials and date 62 on the backside of the right wing, numbered “34/175”. (There are also other editions: 25 copies numbered from “HC I / XXV” to “HC XXV / XXV”. 25 resin copies numbered from “EA I / XXV” to “EA XXV / XXV”). Based on the Statue Nike of Samothrake, Paris, Musée du Louvre, which is standing on the prow of a ship overlookeing the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on the island of Samothrace, Greece. It was found on this island of the Aegean Sea in 1863. Yves Klein changed the attitude in cutting the drape at the level of the knees, and then mounting the sculpture on a stone using a metal rod. Price upon request

YVES KLEIN, Anthropometrie ant 83, 2000

Yves Klein: ‘Athropometrie ant 83’, 2000, Lithograph on Arches paper, realized by the Estate of Yves Klein / Routraut Klein, stamped signed at the back by Moquay (Yves Klein Succession), numbered in pencil. Edition size 200, size: 55.7 x 75 cm / 21.9 x 29.5 in. Price upon request