Yves Klein - Blue

Yves Klein 1928-1962 "French artist chiefly noted for his blue monochrome paintings and for his audacious experiments with new techniques and new attitudes to art. Born in Nice; both his parents were painters. Began to paint in the late 1940s and formulated his first monochrome theories. Lived in Japan 1952-3. Became expert at judo, which he later taught in Spain and in Paris, where he lived from 1955. First public one-man exhibition at the Galerie des Solitaires, Paris, 1955. Early monochrome pictures in orange, yellow, pink, red and green, but from 1957 worked mainly in blue; also made from 1960 a number of monogolds, with gold leaf. Murals for the opera house at Gelsenkirchen 1957-9. Began in 1957 to experiment with fire paintings and 'immaterial zones of sensibility', and in 1958 with 'Anthropométries' made by a nude model pressing herself against the canvas under his direction. Member of the group Nouveaux Réalistes with Arman, Raysse, Spoerri, Tinguely, Pierre Restany and others 1960. Died in Paris of a heart attack, at the age of 34."(tate.org.uk)
"The abstract painting that dominated French art in the 1950s was invariably premised on the notion that an artist could communicate with the viewer through the power of abstract form. But skeptics of modern, abstract art have always alleged that the viewers, like the faithful devotees of a false god, do more of the work than the artist, investing the forms with their own feelings rather than discovering the artist's. Viewed in this light, Klein's monochrome blue paintings might be read as a satire on abstract art, for not only do the pictures carry no motif, but Klein insisted there was nothing there at all, only "the void."Klein's pictures may also be read in a contradictory fashion. He was genuinely fascinated by mystical ideas, by notions of the infinite, the undefinable, the absolute, and his use of a single rich and suggestive tone of blue might be seen as an attempt to free the viewer from all imposed ideas and let her mind soar. For, as Klein believed, lines in pictures were a form of "prison grating," and only color offered the path to freedom.Throughout Klein's work, from his canvas monochromes to his later performances, there is a stress on immediate experience that reflects aspects of the Performance art movement of the 1960s. Although he was never specifically opposed to creating art objects, many of Klein's later works seem to want to abandon the object as a vehicle for art and instead find ways to more directly transmit ideas and experiences."(.theartstory.org)

















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