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France • 1928−1962

Yves Klein (FR. Yves Klein, rod. April 28, 1928, nice, France, mind. June 6, 1962, Paris, France) is a French artist and a pioneer, one of the most significant figures of postwar European art. A brilliant showman, Klein presents the art of the twentieth century a new trend, according to which the identity of the artist is more important than his works.

Early years, 1928-1946

Yves Klein was born April 28, 1928 in nice, in the house of the grandparents on the maternal side. Both his parents were artists. His father, Fred Klein, Dutch of Indonesian origin, painted in the style of post-impressionism, and his mother, Marie Raymond, was a prominent figure in tachisme.

In 1928-1946 Yves Klein lived in Paris but spent every summer at Cagnes-Sur-Mer where he lived with his mother's sister, rose Raymond. Ive literally adored his aunt, who took care and supported him. From 1942 to 1946, Klein studied at the Higher school of Maritime trade and the Higher school of Oriental languages, art education he received and most of my life was earning as a judo instructor.

The Rosicrucians

At the end of 1947 — beginning of 1948, the memories of each artist, Claude Pascal, Klein discovered a book, "La Cosmogonie des Rose-Croix" ("Cosmogony of the Rosicrucians"), which became for him a Board book that Ive studied every day for the next four to five years. Later Klein, Claude Pascal registered in the society of the Rosicrucians.

1948-1950 (Italy, Germany, England, Ireland)

During the summer of 1948 Klein visited Italy (Genoa, Portofino, Pisa, Rome, Capri and Naples). In November he left for eleven months of military service in Germany. At the end of 1949, Claude Pascal and Yves Swear temporarily moved to London, where he continued his studies of judo. Klein created some monochrome on paper and cardboard using pastel and gouache. From April to August 1950 Yves Klein and Claude Pascal were in Ireland, riding club.

Spain, 1951

In 1951 Klein went to Madrid to learn Spanish. Initially, Pascal and Klein planned to travel around the world, but health problems made it impossible for Pascal to take part in it. In Spain, Klein joined the judo club, made friends with the school Director, Fernando Franco de Sarabia, whose father was a publisher.

Japan, 1952-1953

In 1952 Klein had arrived in Yokohama, and soon moved to Tokyo and registered in the Kodokan Institute, the most prestigious judo center. He spent fifteen months in Japan, dividing his time between the Institute and the French lessons he gave to American and Japanese students. During your stay in Japan, he wrote a book about judo and became a black belt. In 1953, Klein cancelled his membership in the society of the Rosicrucians.

1954 (Paris-Madrid-Paris, edition of the book monochrome)

After returning to Paris in 1954, Klein hopes to take a position in the French judo Federation did not materialize, despite the release of his book "fundamentals of judo". Ive decided to leave France and moved to Spain at the invitation of Fernando Franco de Sarabia. There's Yves Klein published two collections of monochrome engraving in the Studio of Fernando around Madrid. Preface Pascal Claude was composed of black lines instead of text. Ten color plates consisted of monochrome rectangles, cut out on paper and accompanied by an indication of their sizes in millimeters. Each plate indicated a different place of creation: Madrid, nice, Tokyo, Paris. This work is the first public gesture of Klein, in which he raised the issue of illusion in art. At the end of 1954, Klein returned from Spain to Paris.

1955-1956, the first exhibition, the Order of archers of Saint Sebastian

In the spring of 1955, he proposed an orange monochrome, entitled "Expression de l'univers de la couleur mine orange", at Salon Réalités Nouvelles, devoted to abstract painting. The rectangular wooden panel was uniformly covered with matte orange paint, signed monogram YK, dated may 1955. The work was rejected by the jury. In October 1955 he held the first public exhibition of works of Klein in the Club des Solitaires, private salon izdatelskogo Lacoste. In 1956, Yves Klein met Iris Clert, which was small, twenty square meters, Studio in Paris.

In February and March 1956, the exhibition "Yves, Propositions Monochromes" in the gallery Colette Allendy in Paris. Pierre Restany wrote a radical and provocative text for the invitation. On the opening day Klein met Marcel Barillon de Murat, a knight of the order of archers of Saint Sebastian, who invited him to join the Order. In March, Klein was named a knight of the Order in the Church of Saint-Nicolas-des-Champs in Paris. He chose the motto: "For color! Against the line and drawing!"

1957, the beginning of the blue period

In 1957 Yves Swear he exhibited eleven blue paintings of identical format (78 x 56 cm) gallery in Milan. The works hung on the brackets at a distance of 20 cm from the wall. For the first time, Klein was presented the blue room of monochrome, one of which bought Lucio Fontana.

In may 1957, Klein presented a double exhibition in Paris: one part at Iris Clert gallery — "Yves, Propositions monochromes", the second part in the gallery Colette Allendy — "Pigment pur". At the Galerie Iris Clert, Klein decided to present the monochrome in Milan. The beginning of the blue period was marked by the launch of 1001 blue balloons in the sky of Paris, Klein naswall it aerostatic sculpture. In the gallery Colette Allendy, Yves presented a series of works indicate the way of its further creative development: sculpting, environment, pure pigment, the first fire painting "Feux de Bengale-tableau de feu bleu d'une minute" and the first "Immatériel" — an empty room. One invitations to both exhibitions included the text of Pierre Restany and blue print made by Yves Klein.

In the summer of 1957 exhibition of Yves Klein's monochrome were shown at Gallery One in London. During a debate at the Institute of contemporary art, which was attended by Klein and Restany, controversy erupted with unexpected force, and the British press picked up the scandal caused by the exhibition.

In the same summer of 1957 in nice, Yves Klein met Rotraut Uecker, a young German artist, who became his assistant and later wife.

1958 (making Opera in Germany, the exhibition Le Vide, pilgrimage)

In 1958, Yves Klein was invited to design the Opera house in Germany. In the spring he returned to Paris in April, commits the first pilgrimage to the monastery of St. Rita in Cascia in Italy. In late April, Yves Klein present in experimental light blue Obelisk on Place de la Concorde. Klein wanted to accompany the Vernissage of the forthcoming exhibition at the Galerie Iris Clert illumination of the monument. The permit ultimately was not given to the artist. Two days later, the opening of the legendary exhibition Le Vide (Vacuum) at the Galerie Iris Clert.

In the summer of 1958 were the first experiments with anthropometry.

In the fall of 1958 Klein made his second pilgrimage to the monastery of St. Rita in Cascia in Italy, giving the blue monochromatic monastery.

In 1958 also held a joint exhibition of Klein and Jean Tinguely Vitesse pure et stabilité monochrome ("Pure speed and monochrome stability") at the Galerie Iris Clert. Both artists presented works made of metal discs covered with "international blue Klein", set in motion high-speed engines.


In 1959, Klein participated in the exhibition Vision in Motion, Hessenhuis in Antwerp, worked with architect Claude Parent on the draft water fountain and fire has developed the project of aeromagnetic sculpture. In may 1959 the Galerie Iris Clert presented an exhibition Collaboration internationale entre artistes et architectes dans la réalisation du nouvel Opéra de Gelsenkirchen (International collaboration between artists and architects working on the project of the new Opera of Gelsenkirchen).

In June 1959, Yves Klein gave a lecture L evolution de l'art vers l immatériel ("the evolution of the art to the intangible") at the Sorbonne.

In the second half of June 1959 was an exhibition of bas-reliefs from sponges Bas-reliefs dans une forêt d éponges at the Galerie Iris Clert in Paris.

In October, the first Paris Biennale Restany Pierre (Pierre Restany) has presented monochrome large format among the works selected by the jury of young critics. The work of Jean Tinguely, Raymond Hines (Raymond Hains), Jacques de La Villegle (Jacques de la Villeglé) and Francois Dufrene (François Dufrêne) were also included. This was an important step in the formation of the group of new realists.

In October-November 1959 Yves Klein took part in two exhibitions in Germany ("Kunstsammler am Rhein und Ruhr: Malerei 1900-1959" at the Städtisches Museum in Leverkusen, "Dynamo 1" at Galerie Renate Boukes, Wiesbaden) and in the exhibition of Works in Three Dimensions in the Gallery of Leo Castelli in new York.

In December publishes Yves Klein, Le Dépassement de la problématique de l'art (Overcoming the problematics of art) in Belgium.


In January-February, 1960 Klein took part in the exhibitions of La nouvelle conception artistique ("New concept art") in the Gallery Azimut in Milan (along with other artists) and Antagonismes, organized by the Museum of decorative arts in Paris, where he showed Monogold frémissant.

February 23 at home in the presence of Pierre Restany, Yves Klein made prints Rotraut and Jacqueline, leaving the blue prints of their bodies on a large sheet of white paper pinned to the wall. Participants called the work Célébration d'une nouvelle Ere anthropométrique ("Celebration of a new anthropometric period").

In March there was a public demonstration of anthropometry in Paris (under the Monotone Symphony, three naked models covered themselves with blue paint and left imprints of the bodies on the white sheets on the walls and floor of the gallery). After that, formally dressed audience, consisting of numerous artists, collectors and critics, was invited to participate in the General debate.

In April, Klein participated in the exhibition Les Nouveaux Réalistes at the Gallery Apollinaire in Milan, together with Arman, Hines, Dufrenoy, Villeglé and Tinguely. In the Preface to the catalogue of Pierre Restany used the term New Realism (new realism) for the first time. On October 27 a group of artists signed a Declaration of the group of new realism in the house of Yves Klein (Armand Dufresne, Heinz, Yves Klein (Yves Monochrome), Raysse, Spoerri, Tinguely, Villeglé). Nine copies, handwritten Restany and signed by all the artists were distributed to the participants of the event. 28 Oct Klein gathered Arman, Hines, Raysse, Restany to create Anthropométrie suaire (shroud anthropometrically). With this gesture, Klein integrated the new realists in his work.

In may, Klein has registered a formula for international Klein blue (International Klein Blue, IKB) and received a patent.

In the summer of Yves Klein created the first Cosmogony - "Cosmogonies at Cagnes-sur-Mer".

October 19 Klein made "Le Saut dans le vide" (Leap into the void), and in November, during the Festival of avant-garde art in Paris, published his picture.


After a public demonstration of anthropometry in the 1960s that criticism responded ambiguously, Klein became a celebrity in Europe. However, the exhibition "le Monochrome" in the Gallery of Leo Castelli in new York in 1961 ended in failure.

In 1961, the exhibition "Yves Klein: monochrome and fire" was held at the Museum Haus Lange in Krefeld, Germany. It was the largest lifetime exhibition of the artist. He showed blue, pink and gold in the rhythmic, architectural drawings, "Mur de feu" (fire wall), which consisted of fifty burners, arranged in five rows. The day of the exhibition Klein created the first fire painting, and a little later - a monumental work of the same plan at the research center of the French gas company, near Paris.

In may-June 1961 Yves Klein took part in the first exhibition of the new realism, organized by Pierre Restany - "A quarante degrés au-dessus de Dada" (forty degrees above Dada), which was held at the J Gallery in Paris. The exhibition was attended by Arman, Cesar, Hines, Tinguely, Villeglé, Dufresne, Rotella and Spoerri. Restani published a text that Klein was not accepted. Later in the same year held the First festival of new realism in Muratore Gallery in nice and the Abbey of Roseland. After that, Klein, Raysse and Hines announced the dissolution of the group of the New realism.

July 17-18, Yves Klein staged a session of anthropometry in Paris, which was shot Paolo Vavera for Gualterio Jacopetti's film Mondo Cane ("Dog's world"), which was to be shown at the Cannes film festival.

On 21 November the exhibition of Klein's "Monochrome: Il nuovo realismo del colore" at the gallery Apollinaire in Milan.


21 Jan 1962 Yves Klein and Rotraut Uecker were married, every aspect of the wedding ceremony in the Church of Saint-Nicolas-des-Champs in Paris was carefully designed by the artist.

At the Cannes festival, Klein attended the screening of "Mondo Cane", he was humiliated in what way the film was presented himself and his work. In the evening he suffered a first heart attack, and on the day of the Vernissage of the exhibition "Donner à voir" in the Creuze gallery in Paris — the second. Died Klein from following a heart attack on 6 June 1962 at his home in Paris, having to create a large amount of work and exerting significant influence on the development of art. His son, Eve, was born after his father's death in nice in August 1962. Klein was buried in a small cemetery in La Colle-Sur-Loup (Alpes).

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