French artist Yves Klein (b. 1928 – 1962 Nice France) isn’t easy to classify. Some have said that he was a post-modernist others a neo Dadaist. Between the years of 1947 – 48 Klein ‘wrote’ a symphony which consisted of a 20 minute sustained chord followed by a 20 minutes silence. From 1948 to 1952 he travelled to Italy, Spain and Britain. Whilst in Japan he became a master of Judo, he was aged 25. This was considered at the time a great achievement for a westerner’
He threw himself into art seriously and held his first private exhibitions of his monochromes in 1950. Some of his shows showed orange, pink, red, yellow and blue monchromes which Klein thought were misunderstood. He decided to concentrate only on the colour blue. Klein patented his own recipe. This was to become ‘International Klein Blue’ which resembled the blue of the Madonna’s robe in Medieval paintings, originally made with lapis lazuli.
Another show, in 1958 called La spécialisation de la sensibilité à l’état matière première en sensibilité picturale stabilisée, Le Vide (The Specialization of Sensibility in the Raw Material State into Stabilized Pictorial Sensibility, The Void consisted of an empty gallery space except for a large cabinet. All surfaces were painted white and on the opening night 3000 people queued up to view the empty room, thanks to enormous publicity!
He decorated the Gelsenkirchen Opera House, Germany with vast blue murals and in 1958 collaborated with Jean Tinguely (Bas reliefs in a Sponge forest) using the sponges he had used to paint his canvases. These were mounted on to steel rods and set in rocks from his parents garden.
He also ‘painted’ with gas burners by scorching his canvas. He made sculptures, like ‘Venus de Milo’ and ‘The Winged Victory of Samothrace’ which he painted in IKB. He also made this photomontage called Saut dans le vide (Leap into the Void) which shows appernetly him jumping off a wall.
But he is perhaps most well known for his performance art where he used models as paintbrushes as the formerly dressed audience watch and Klein’s Monotone symphony played!
Here’s the artist himself amidst his symphony and his painted ladies:-
Lots of information about this artist here
Source of images and information here
Yves Klein becomes the latest artist to be celebrated – there’s many more in my Artists birthdays category!