This major new Yves Klein overview shows how Klein transformed his life into a myth that blurred the boundary between art and biography. It includes around 300 unearthed archival photographs--many of which are published for the first time--of Klein, his works, and their production. Always an innovator, Klein spanned many mediums, boldly exploring musical composition, sculpture, performance, photography, theater, film and theoretical writing, in addition to the blue monochrome painting for which he is so famed. Reproductions of artworks are interspersed with photographs of and quotations by Klein, guiding readers through a personal history of key works such as “Leap into the Void” and the Monochrome and Feuer exhibition. Most importantly, this book offers a new look behind the scenes of his performances, uncovers the genesis of his famous Anthropometries and Fire Paintings and portrays Klein at work in his studio, in private settings and on his travels. There are also numerous contact prints with lesser-known photos and snapshots that are not among the more famous pictures released for publication.
Unlike most of his contemporaries, Klein always viewed photography as a lens through which to dramatize his subjects, and chose carefully who could photograph him. The imagery in this monograph blurs the artist’s work and life in a way that both maintains and deconstructs the myth of Yves Klein.
Born in Nice, France, Yves Klein (1928–62) created what he considered his first artwork when he signed the sky above Nice in 1947, making his earliest attempt to capture the immaterial. The artist carved out new aesthetic and theoretical territory based on his philosophical and poetic investigations of space and science, and the practice of Judo, which he described as “the discovery of the human body in a spiritual space.”