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Yves Klein

Yves Klein

France • Born in: 1928

​Master Artists

New Realism

Performing Artists

Sculptors Artists

French artists

Yves Klein is a French visual artist who was born in Nice on 28th April 1928 and died in Paris on 6th July 1962. Coming from a family of artists, he did not intend to become an artist and studied to become an officer of the merchant navy. From 1948 until 1952 he made numerous trips; to Europe but mainly to Japan, where he developed a passion for judo and became a 4th dan black belt. In 1955 he even created his own judo school which would close a year later due to financial difficulties. A self-taught artist, he began painting monochromes in the late 1940s.

In 1956, he created International Klein Blue (IKB); the famous “Klein blue", a shade which to him represented the most perfect expression of blue. The same year, his reputation began to grow thanks to the exhibition “Yves, Propositions monochromes" in Paris. Then he presented “Proposte monochrome, epoca blu" in Milan, an exhibition composed of eleven identical blue paintings.

He has become world-renowned and is considered one of the fathers of New Realism with Arman and Pierre Restany. He has experimented with many techniques, including “living brushes", where models covered in paint were applied directly to the canvas to create an artwork during a public performance. From 1961, he started a series of fire paintings with the aim of printing the traces of fire onto different supports. His works are often ephemeral: releasing Klein blue balloons, or a gallery painted entirely blue… His material works are only the surface of his approach, they highlight the invisible, the immaterial. 

He introduced two new colors in addition to blue in his work: pink and gold. The union of his three colors together in a work seeks to connect the body and the spirit. This semi-religious iconography is intended to allow each of us to explore the unknown beyond.

Despite a very short career, today he is considered one of the greatest representatives of French and international contemporary art. Not hesitating to perform in his art, Yves Klein himself participates in the construction of his legend, as evidenced by his collaboration with numerous photographers and directors. Furthermore, in addition to an exceptional œuvre, he leaves behind a large number of astutely written works.

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Our recommendations Yves Klein, Monochrome IKB, Design

Yves Klein

Monochrome IKB, 2019 35 x 125 x 100 cm Design

€36,000

Yves Klein, L'Ours Pompon - Edition Yves Klein, Sculpture

Yves Klein

L'Ours Pompon - Edition Yves Klein, 2022 27 x 49 x 19 cm Sculpture

€6,500

Yves Klein, Petite Vénus bleue, Sculpture

Yves Klein

Petite Vénus bleue, 2001 6.2 x 2.4 x 0.1 cm Sculpture

€8,000

Yves Klein, S9 - Victoire de Samothrace, Sculpture

Yves Klein

S9 - Victoire de Samothrace, 1962 49 x 27.5 x 25 cm Sculpture

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Who is the artist?

Yves Klein is a French visual artist who was born in Nice on 28th April 1928 and died in Paris on 6th July 1962. Coming from a family of artists, he did not intend to become an artist and studied to become an officer of the merchant navy. From 1948 until 1952 he made numerous trips; to Europe but mainly to Japan, where he developed a passion for judo and became a 4th dan black belt. In 1955 he even created his own judo school which would close a year later due to financial difficulties. A self-taught artist, he began painting monochromes in the late 1940s.

In 1956, he created International Klein Blue (IKB); the famous “Klein blue", a shade which to him represented the most perfect expression of blue. The same year, his reputation began to grow thanks to the exhibition “Yves, Propositions monochromes" in Paris. Then he presented “Proposte monochrome, epoca blu" in Milan, an exhibition composed of eleven identical blue paintings.

He has become world-renowned and is considered one of the fathers of New Realism with Arman and Pierre Restany. He has experimented with many techniques, including “living brushes", where models covered in paint were applied directly to the canvas to create an artwork during a public performance. From 1961, he started a series of fire paintings with the aim of printing the traces of fire onto different supports. His works are often ephemeral: releasing Klein blue balloons, or a gallery painted entirely blue… His material works are only the surface of his approach, they highlight the invisible, the immaterial. 

He introduced two new colors in addition to blue in his work: pink and gold. The union of his three colors together in a work seeks to connect the body and the spirit. This semi-religious iconography is intended to allow each of us to explore the unknown beyond.

Despite a very short career, today he is considered one of the greatest representatives of French and international contemporary art. Not hesitating to perform in his art, Yves Klein himself participates in the construction of his legend, as evidenced by his collaboration with numerous photographers and directors. Furthermore, in addition to an exceptional œuvre, he leaves behind a large number of astutely written works.

What is Yves Klein’s artistic movement?

The artistic movements of the artists are: New Realism, Performing Artists

When was Yves Klein born?

The year of birth of the artist is: 1928