Who was the artist Yves Klein?
Yves Klein was a French artist famous for inventing International Klein Blue (IKB). From his Anthropométrie series to his fire paintings, Klein created works that crossed the boundaries of conceptual and performance art.
Yves Klein was born in 1928 in Nice, France. His parents, Fred Klein and Marie Raymond, were both artists—the former a figurative painter and the latter an abstract painter. Klein’s first calling was judo. He travelled to Japan to complete his judoka training and obtained the prestigious fourth dan black belt. This experience had a major influence on the artist’s work. Yves Klein dedicated himself fully to art from 1955 onwards. The Galerie Iris Clert in Paris organised Yves Klein’s famous exhibition La Spécialisation de la sensibilité à l’état matière première en sensibilité picturale stabilisée [The Specialisation of Sensibility in the Raw Material State of Stabilised Sensibility] in 1958. The event became known as the exhibition of “the void”. Blurring the boundaries between visual and performance art, Klein transformed his models into the “brushes” behind his Anthropométrie series. The artist created his first Monogolds in 1960 using gold—a material both precious and symbolic in equal measure. In 1960, Klein gathered a number of artists—including Arman, François Dufrêne, Raymond Hains, Martial Raysse, Daniel Spoerri, Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Tinguely and Jacques Villeglé—as well as the art critic Pierre Restany at his apartment, where the group signed the Manifeste des Nouveaux Réalistes [the Manifesto of the New Realists].
If you would like to find out more about the French painter Yves Klein and his works, please visit the artist’s dedicated page.