Yves Klein is one of the 20th century most enigmatic artists. Certainly, he was blessed with creativity from his birth in 1928 on, as his father and mother both were artists. At first Yves Klein's talents showed in various forms, he played in a band, composed, did Judo and discovered his passion for painting. In 1947 Yves Klein met the artist Arman, with whom he would be in a long friendship.
With its concentration on just one color, his artwork soon revealed the concept of the so-called "Monochrome", the most characteristic feature of Yves Klein's art, which saw its peak in the development of the single and unique color ultramarine blue in 1957 - which is also known as "I.K.B. - International Klein Blue". This blue did not only enable Klein to make, for instance, infinity visible, additionally, "Yves le Monochrome" was able to make I.K.B. inseparably from his name through having a patent on it.
Besides his monochrome pictures, which are dominated by I.K.B., as well as the colors red and gold, there are other outstanding landmarks in the work of Yves Klein. Among them count the "sponge reliefs", monochrome dyed sponges mounted on plywood, as well as the "sponge sculptures", likewise monochrome dyed sponges mounted to metal steles. Additionally, the "Anthropometries" - impressions of painted female bodies, made mostly in 1960/1961 - presumably count among Yves Klein's most renowned works. They reveal a fundamental visual moment, as the creation of the "Anthropometries" often took place in front of an audience.
Next to artists such as Arman, Daniel Spoerri, Jean Tinguely and others, Yves Klein was among the founding members of the group "Nouveaux Réalistes" in 1960. One of the principles of the "Nouveaux Réalistes" is the association between art and life - which becomes evident in the sponges Yves Klein used to make his art with, they are elevated from objects of everyday use to objects of art.
In August 1962, the first child of Yves Klein and his wife Rotraut Uecker, sister of the artist Günther Uecker, was born. Tragically, Yves Klein did not witness his son's birth as he died on 6 June the same year after having suffered a series of heart attacks.
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