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Yves Klein

Yves Klein  <i>F 121</i>, 1962
charred cardboard laid down on board
16 1/8 x 13 in 41 x 33 cm
(Inv #4581)
Yves Klein F 121, 1962
charred cardboard laid down on board
16 1/8 x 13 in 41 x 33 cm
(Inv #4581)
Yves Klein  <i>Peinture de feu sans titre (F 92)</i> , 1961
Burn marks on cardboard
27 1/4 x 39 1/4 in, 69.2 x 99.7 cm
(Inv #4678)
Yves Klein Peinture de feu sans titre (F 92) , 1961
Burn marks on cardboard
27 1/4 x 39 1/4 in, 69.2 x 99.7 cm
(Inv #4678)

Biography

Yves Klein
(1928 - 1962)

Yves Klein was born in Nice, France in 1928. Although both his parents were artists, Klein undertook no formal training as an artist instead studying at the Ecole Nationale de la Marine Marchande and the Ecole Nationale des Langues Orientales. However, at this time he started to paint. During the years 1948 to 1952, he traveled to Italy, Great Britain, Spain, and Japan before settling permanently in Paris in 1955.

Many of Klein's early works were monochromes, chiefly in one of three colors, gold, red which he called “monopink”, or ultramarine blue. However, by the late 1950's, he attributed a particular role to the color blue. For Klein, blue embodied for him the most abstract aspects of tangible and visible nature, such as sky and the sea. Klein's monochromes became almost exclusively in deep blue hue which he eventually patented as International Klein Blue (IKB), although the color was never produced commercially.

Klein is recognized for his radical experiments with new techniques and new attitudes to art. In the late 1950’s, and early in 1960 Klein created anthropometries in which he wanted to record the body's physical energy. To make these paintings, nude models who Klein called "living brushes" covered themselves in blue paint and placed their bodies on white paper laid out on walls and floor. In his next experiment, in 1961, he began a series of fire paintings using a flame-thrower. These works continued his exploration of air and the immaterial with the addition of fire as an essential new element.

Yves Klein’s work is included in the public collections of the Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; the Städel Museum, Frankfurt; the Calderara Foundation Collection, Milan; the Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Trento; the Alazzo Forti, Verona; Reina Sofia National Museum, Madrid; Royal Academy of Arts, London; S.M.A.K (Stedelijk Museum Voor Actuele Kunst), Belgium; Tate Gallery, London; The Menil Collection, Texas; the Walker Art Center, Minnesota.

The artist's work had been the subject of important retrospective exhibitions at: the Museum Haus Lamge in Krefeld, Germany 1962, The Musée national d'Art Moderne, Paris, 1983; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris 1983 and 2006; the Nice Modern and Contemporary Art Museum, Nice, 2000; the Luigi Pecci Contemporary Art Museum of Prato, Italy, 2000. Yves Klein died on June 6, 1962.

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS
2015
Burning, Cutting, Nailing, Skarstedt, London, United Kingdom

2014
Yves Klein and Andy Warhol: Fire Paintings and Oxidation Paintings, Skarstedt Chelsea, New York

2013
The Show is Over, Gagosian Gallery, London, United Kingdom
ZERO, Museu Oscar Niemeyer, Curitiba, Brazil
ZERO Paris-Düsseldorf, Passage de Retz, Paris, France
Yves Klein / Claude Parent. Le mémorial : projet d'architecture, Espace de l’Art Concret, Mouans-Sartoux, France
Audible Presence, Dominique Lévy Gallery, New York
Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, 1949-1962, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois
Klein - Byars - Kapoor, ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Aarhus, Denmark

2012
Explosio! El Ilegat de Jackson Pollock, Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, Spain
Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, 1949 – 1962, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California
Tout feu tout flame, Galerie Tornabuoni, Paris, France
Yves Klein et Fontenay-aux-Roses, Médiathèque, Fontenay-aux-Roses
Klein – Byars – Kapoor, MAMAC, Nice, France
Explosion! Painting as Action, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

2011
Au cœur de l’espace. Voyage dans la mémoire, Musée des arts et métiers, Paris, France
Takashi Murakami Homage to Yves Klein, Galerie Perrotin, Paris, France
L’étoffe du temps, Institut Culturel Bernard Magrez, Bordeaux, France
La couleur en avant, MAMAC, Nice, France
Kounellis / Klein, feu / contre-feu, Galerie Lelong, Paris, France
Yves Klein: vídeos y performances, Galería Cayón, Madrid, Spain
Worlds of Colour. From Monet to Yves Klein, Chabot Museum, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Un corps inattendu, FRAC Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France

2010
Yves Klein, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Nuevos Realismos: 1957-1962. Estrategias del objeto, entre readymade y espectácu, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.

2009
Marie Raymond - Yves Klein Herencias, Circulo de bellas artes, Madrid, Spain
L'attraction de l'espace - Au fond de l'inconnu pour trouver du nouveau, Musée d'art moderne, Saint-Étienne, France
Voids Eine Retrospective, Kunsthalle, Bern, Switzerland
Yves Klein & Rotraut, Museo d'Arte & Sculture in Città, Lugano, Switzerland
De la montgolfière au dirigeable : le pouvoir de voler, Musée-Promenade, Marly-le-Roi, France
Vides, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

2007
Declaring Space: Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein, Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
Art is an Idea: The Moquay Collection, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, Arizona
Yves Klein Die blaue Revolution, MUMOK, Vienna, Austria
Black Square. Hommage à Malevich, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany
Les Nouveaux Réalistes, Grand-Palais, Paris, France

2006
Yves Klein. Corps, couleur, immaterial, Centre Georges Pompidou, and Musée national d'art moderne, Paris, France
Yves Klein dans ses murs, La Coupole, Paris, France
Zero - Internationale Künstler-Avantgarde der 50er/60er Jahre, Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf, Germany
Yves Klein Air architecture, MAK, Vienna, Austria
Yves Klein Hommage, Ausstellung Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hannover, Germany

2005
Yves Klein: A Career Survey, L & M Arts, New York
Color after Klein, Barbican, London, United Kingdom
Yves Klein, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain

2004
Marie Raymond / Yves Klein, musée des Beaux-arts, Angers. Traveled to Musée Joseph Déchelette, Roanne; Museum Ludwig, Koblenz; Musée des beaux-arts, Carcassonne, LAAC Dunkerque, Dunkerque, France
Yves Klein, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany
Yves Klein - Air architecture, Schindler House, Los Angeles; traveled to Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York