International Klein Blue

Visited the Walker Art Center in Minnneapolis today, amazement around every corner. Stunning to find the actual tub in which Yves Klein had his naked models dip before applying themselves to large white canvases in the early 60s, saturated in the cosmically deep hue IKB. International Klein Blue was a color invented and patented by Klein, bluer than blue, virtually the only color he ever used. And yet, despite his total commitment to IKB, Klein refused to touch paint. Wish I had jotted down the quote since I can’t find it referenced on the web, but laughed out loud when I read something to the effect of “I would never stoop to dirty my hands with actual paint” … more stuff about distance and control… picturing these poor models bathing in the deepest blue, throwing themselves against white muslin, and Klein standing back, directing traffic, the total puppeteer. An absurd power trip with absurdly beautiful results.

4 Replies to “International Klein Blue”

  1. I saw some Klein blue paintings in Cologne recently. The man knew what he was doing. That colour is orders of magnitude more beautiful than any other colour in existence, I don’t understand how that’s possible.

  2. Hi… found that quote :)

    “In this way I stayed clean. I no longer dirtied myself with color, not even the tips of my fingers. The work finished itself there in front of me, under my direction, in absolute collaboration with the model. And I could salute its birth into the tangible world in a dignified manner, dressed in a tuxedo…By this demonstration, or rather technique, I especially wanted to tear down the temple veil of the studio. I wanted to keep nothing of my process hidden.”

  3. I saw an Yves Klein exhibition in Sydney 1998.
    I have been hooked ever since.
    The IKB or Monochrome series is fabulous, but without sounding pompous it really has to be seen to be appreciated. The effect of daylight, contours, shadows etc that totally transform a single colour makes you view all colours differently.
    As an example, sit in a totally white room and look at the different ‘hues’ on the wall where the shadows appear, where light is cast on other objects when reflected from plants, furniture…give it a try!
    I have the joy of living in Costa Blanca Spain where I take pleasure in the way light works from morning to sunset and beyond.
    But I would not appreciate any of this if I had not had the pleasure of visiting my special Yves Klein Exhibition.
    There is one in Paris’ Pompidou centre until Feb 2006……….Come on, Give it a try!

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