Yves Klein

1928–1962

Yves Klein, ‘IKB 79’ 1959
IKB 79 1959
© ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2018
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In Tate Modern

Artist biography

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.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.389

Wikipedia entry

Yves Klein (French pronunciation: ​[iv klɛ̃]; 28 April 1928 – 6 June 1962) was a French artist considered an important figure in post-war European art. He was a 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.

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Artworks

Film and audio

Watch

Unlock Art: Frank Skinner on performance art

Comedian Frank Skinner gets to grips with performance art

TateShots

TateShots: Yves Klein - Anthropometries

Yves Klein used naked women as ‘human paintbrushes’. TateShots talked to one of his models about the experience.

TateShots

Yves Klein, Anthropometries

TateShots asked one of Yves Klein's collaborators about her experience of being used as a 'human paintbrush'

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