Il se jette dans le vide (Yves Klein)

Dimensions350 cm x 125 cm x 250 cm
Materials Sandblasted glass, brick, stone, painted aluminum, and wood

Yves Klein a French painter and performance artist born in 1928 was an artist of legends. Painter of Blue, creator of emptiness, manipulator of energy, and cosmic architect of air were some of his self-described titles. He was a leader of the New Realism and the thread that continued the work of Marcel Duchamp. He is known for his sponge paintings as well as the very particular almost iridescent blue that was his secret. Throughout his later life Klein made claims of levitation and on November 27, 1960 he said that from 0 to 24 hours the planet Earth became the theatre of emptiness and he flew into that empty space. During this timeframe a photo was taken of him as he sailed through the air. He and I leave it up to the viewer to determine the reality or the humor. Yves Klein died at 34 years old at the height of his powers as a visionary artist.

The elements I have assembled to tell Klein’s story are the bold yet fragile figure in glass soaring from the wall, and out of the blue of his cosmic energy, as the eagle into space.Then softening his landing by incorporating two significant aspects of his work the sponge paintings and what he called Anthopométries.These sponges that I carved out of wood represented as Klein said, “raw living matter so that the observers of the monochromes can return totally impregnated in sensibility as the sponges are in color”. The Anthopométries were the creation of paintings where nude models covered in IKB paint were directed to move around on blank canvases. Klein dressed in a Tuxedo directed the proceedings as a performance and ultimately never touched the canvas. The blue figure on the floor is based on one of these paintings “Barbara (ANT 13)” from 1960. I just learned that this painting is coming up for auction at Christie’s on November 13, 2019. The year 2018 was the 90th anniversary of the birth of Yves Klein and the estate of the artist licensed a French paint company Ressource to produce the secret formula of IKB and so I was able to actually use his authentic color in the production of this piece.