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Inventor of his own colour, Yves Klein was born a day like today in 1928

28 April, 2017

French artist Yves Klein (1928 – 1962) is considered an important figure in post-war European art. He is the leading member of the French artistic movement of Nouveau réalisme founded in 1960 by art critic Pierre Restany.

Klein was a pioneer in the development of performance art, and is seen as an inspiration to, and as a forerunner of, Minimal art, as well as Pop art. Klein was an innovator and visionary whose goal was no less than to radically reinvent what art could be in the postwar world.

Through a diverse practice, which included painting, sculpture, performance, photography, music, architecture and writing as well as plans for projects in theater, dance and cinema, he shifted the focus of art from the material to “immaterial sensibility”; he levitated art above the weariness induced by the Second World War, resurrecting its avant-garde tendencies, injecting a new sense of spirituality and opening doors for much that followed in the 1960s and beyond.

Self-identified as “the painter of space,” Klein sought to achieve immaterial sensibility through pure color, primarily an ultramarine blue of his own invention—International Klein Blue (IKB).

We remember here the exhibition held at Hirshhorn Museum in 2010, the first major retrospective of the artist’s work in the United States in nearly 30 years.


28 April, 2017
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