Yves Klein

French, 1928–1962

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Yves Klein

French, 1928–1962

6,396
Followers
Biography

Yves Klein is best known for his trademark ultramarine pigment, which he patented as International Klein Blue in 1961. “Blue…is beyond dimensions, whereas the other colors are not,” he said. “All colors arouse specific ideas, while blue suggests at most the sea and the sky; and they, after all, are in actual, visible nature what is most abstract.” Starting in the mid-1950s, Klein made retinal blue monochromes (which would prove cornerstones of Minimalism) and the pigment would also feature prominently in his Anthropometry paintings, for which Klein smeared nude women with blue pigment and used them as human brushes on canvas, sometimes in elaborate public performances. Klein's work anticipated Conceptual art, Performance art, and environmental art, as in his selling of portions of empty space to collectors. For The Void (1958), he presented an empty gallery as an artwork, wearing a white tie and tails to show visitors around the blank walls.

Related Categories
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Auction
High auction record
£24m, Christie's, 2012
User
Solo show at a major institution
Centre Pompidou, and 6 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 21 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 2 more
Biography

Yves Klein is best known for his trademark ultramarine pigment, which he patented as International Klein Blue in 1961. “Blue…is beyond dimensions, whereas the other colors are not,” he said. “All colors arouse specific ideas, while blue suggests at most the sea and the sky; and they, after all, are in actual, visible nature what is most abstract.” Starting in the mid-1950s, Klein made retinal blue monochromes (which would prove cornerstones of Minimalism) and the pigment would also feature prominently in his Anthropometry paintings, for which Klein smeared nude women with blue pigment and used them as human brushes on canvas, sometimes in elaborate public performances. Klein's work anticipated Conceptual art, Performance art, and environmental art, as in his selling of portions of empty space to collectors. For The Void (1958), he presented an empty gallery as an artwork, wearing a white tie and tails to show visitors around the blank walls.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Auction
High auction record
£24m, Christie's, 2012
User
Solo show at a major institution
Centre Pompidou, and 6 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 21 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 2 more
Shows Featuring Yves Klein
Articles Featuring Yves Klein
The 10 Best Booths at FIAC
Oct 17th, 2019
These Painters Abandoned Brushes for Sledgehammers, Chainsaws, and Blowtorches
Dec 18th, 2018
Yves Klein’s Legacy Is about Much More Than Blue
Jan 9th, 2017
6 Painting Techniques That Don’t Involve a Brush
Sep 29th, 2016
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