Celebrating the Life of Yves Klein
Today we are celebrating the birthday, life and works of French artist Yves Klein, who was born on 28th of April 1928 and died on 6th of June 1962.
Art as an Experience
Yves Klein is known for his avant-garde attitudes towards the process of putting paint onto canvas which, in doing so, he wanted to create an “experience” rather than a painting. Klein sought to find the ‘immaterial’ in his work and through the use of monochromatic palettes and the ideals of abstraction he rejected traditional representation, aspiring to reach the metaphysical world through his art instead.
By his own profession, every artwork of Klein’s was intrinsically different. He was known to have presented eleven seemingly identical canvases at exhibition, but each with a different price tag. Klein said “each blue world of each painting, although the same blue and treated in the same way, presented a completely different essence and atmosphere” and therefore a different value.
International Klein Blue
Not only are we celebrating the life of an audacious artist, we are also celebrating International Klein Blue, the incandescent, ultramarine pigment that Klein trademarked as his own in 1957. It was after this year that Klein rejected all other colours besides the colour blue and focused on using it solely, in the majority of his work.
So Many Blue Monochromes
Klein’s piece IKB 79, which is on display at the Tate Modern in London, is one of nearly two hundred blue monochromes he produced in his unfortunately short lifetime. Like with many of his works, for IKB 79, Klein applied a combination of fixative and industrial paint with a roller onto a casein-treated canvas, the size of which (1397 × 1197 × 32 mm) effectively enhances the intriguing appearance of depth that Klein Blue creates.
Depth is one example of a sensory experience Klein intended his viewers to have when engaging with his work. However, not only did he wish for us to feel a sense of depth in his work, but more so for the viewer to go beyond the physical realm and see into their own soul, using his encompassing compositions of velvety blue as a vehicle to do so.
Yves Klein and his trademarked International Blue have acted as inspiration to artists, filmmakers and creatives in recent art history. In our own personal nod to Klein and his wonderful ‘bluer-than-blue’, we offer in our collection of nightdresses, a delicately embroidered gown with smocking in Klein Blue.
Blue & White Company white smocked embroidered nightgown with Klein Blue smocking
We also invite you to read more about Yves Klein and other artists who were affected by the way blue made them feel here.
Not only are we celebrating the life of an audacious artist, we are also celebrating International Klein Blue