Yves Klein is born in Nice 1n 1928 to Fred Klein, a landscape-painter, and Marie Raymond, one of the first informal painters in Paris. Under the influence of his oriental studies, he is attracted by martial arts, more specifically by Judo, which he starts practicing in Nice in 1946; his first painting attempts and the discovery of the symbolic value of pure colour date back to this period: it’s the birth of first monochromatic experiments, among which we can find ‘the painting of a completely light-blue sky’ (1946) and ‘monochromatic fingerprints and footprints’ (1947); together with the maturation of his artistic inclination we need to signal the start of his friendship with painter and sculptor Armand Fernandez Arman. Klein goes to England, where he is offered a job by frame maker and gilder Robert Savage; he finally has a chance to display in some private halls his first monochromatic works under the name ‘Yves’ (1950). In 1951 he is in Italy, while in 1952 he leaves on a trip to Spain. From now on there is an intensification of Klein’s artistic production; in 1955 his first exhibition takes place: in Paris, at Gallerie des Solitaries, at the hall of Lacoste editions. Yves works as if possessed by a creative genius and in this productive period he covers some canvases completely in that kind of deep blue which he calls I.K.B (standing for International Klein Blue). These particular works are the core of the exhibition ‘Onze propositions monochromes’, which takes place in Milan, at Gallery Apollinaire; this is a period characterized by several exhibitions. In 1958 we can also witness the first attempts to employ some ‘living brushes’, created with the assistance of his friend and Judo theorist Robert Godet. It must also be pointed out that in 1959 Klein meets for the fist time Hains, Tinguely and Restany at Biennale of Paris: it’s the anticipation of next year’s conference which will give birth to the group of “Nouveaux Réalistes”. The manifesto, edited by Restany, is signed by some of the major artists of that time: Arman, Dufréne, Hains, Klein, Raysse, Spoerri, Tinguely and Villeglé. César and Rotella, absent from the conference, join the group soon afterwards. Klein starts making relief-moulds of the bodies of his dearest friends Arman, Raysse and Pascal, made in blue-painted chalk (expect for Arman’s, which has a golden bottom). In May he realizes his first cinematographic works for Mondo Cane; despite all that, in May 1962 he has two heart attacks: on June 6th, after a third attack, he passes away in Paris. Two months later his son Yves Klein is born in Nice.
Details on work
La Terre BleueYear: 1957 Dimensions: 35,5x29,5x28 cm
Tecnique: Dry ikb pigment and synthetic resin on plaster cast