“Painter, black belt, 4th Dan in judo, graduate of the Kodokan of Tokyo.” With these notes, the French artist sought to define himself in his 1959 manifesto Le dépassement de la problematique de l’art. Yet, historical perspective allows us to describe Yves Klein today as a groundbreaking postmodern artist, the inventor of a new tonality, and above all, a pioneer of much of the art produced in the second half of the twentieth century and the twenty-first.
Yves Klein was the only child of the artists Marie Raymond and Fred Klein; his premature death at the age of 34 interrupted a prodigious, albeit brief, artistic career that would radically revolutionize our understanding of art. The seven years he devoted to his artistic creation and to a commitment to his ideas were enough to transform the artist himself into a masterpiece and a myth. He suffused the world with his pictorial presence, and just as he had wished, that presence would become affixed “in the space vacated by his passing.”
Yves Klein’s work is pure color. Mostly blue, ultramarine blue, the color of a void that he patented with the initials IKB (International Klein Blue). Enthralled by this tonality, Klein impregnated canvases, sponges, and every kind of material, seeking through each work the phenomenological experience of space, the manifestation of pure pictorial sensibility and immateriality. In this manner, Klein would liberate painting from narrative and a work of art from its physical aspect. Everything, even the void, was susceptible to being transformed into art.
Yves Klein considered his paintings and sculptures to be but the residues of his art. In view of this, Yves Klein, intimate sets aside the artist’s pictorial creations to venture into lesser-known works that refer us to the process itself rather than its fulfillment. Exhibited together for the first time is a selection of objects that were bathed in the artist’s color and which may be seen as the expression of his artistic testament. From a cast of the Winged Victory of Samothrace, to a dinner plate, a roller, or a sponge, all of these objects became works of art through the will of the artist.
The Gallery also will feature Klein’s work “Tactile Sculpture” (1957-2014): a white wooden box with a central aperture that invites the observer to a new sensorial experience. Galería Cayón will exhibit, for the first time in Spain and in Europe, this performance art created by Yves Klein over 50 years ago.