"This retrospective exhibition that marks a few months near the 21st anniversary of his death brings together a hundred works, numerous documents and essential masterpieces.
It strives to meet a double expectation: that of the European public, and the American public. That's why she circulated in the United States before being shown in Paris - in Houston, Chicago, New York. (...)
The simplicity of a coherent path has been adopted to show the whole of the work that respects the will of the artist, the different moments of its creation. A first big room brings together documents that familiarize us with Klein's life, his researches, his work - some preparatory works, works in collaboration. The following room evokes the exhibitions at the gallery of Colette Allendy and the gallery Iris Clert: nucleus of all the work to come. We then discover the huge hall of large blue monochromes. It gives the scale of an exemplary success. This impregnation of space by the blue. Further on, the two small rooms of "Ci-git l'espace" and "la forêt d'éponges" lead us to the large "Anthropometries" and "Colored Fire paintings". The Hall of "Planetary Reliefs" and "Cosmogonies" lead to the "Monogold" paintings that precede the great triptych, which is Klein's key and major work: synthesis of the virtual and the real, of light and matter, of the color and immaterial by the three colors blue, pink and gold, projection of space and wall. " Jean-Yves Mock, excerpt from the presentation text of the exhibition
March 1st, 1983, at 8 pm, following the opening of Yves Klein's Retrospective Exhibition, organized by the National Museum of Modern Art at the Center Georges Pompidou, there has been an exceptional Illumination in Blue of the Obelisk at Place de la Concorde.
Yves Klein wanted to realize this project of luminous sculpture, this impregnation in space blue at the end of his exhibition "Yves le Monochrome" at the Galerie Iris Clert, the evening of the opening and had attended with her at the repetition on the 26th April 1957. But the Prefect forbids its realization the next day. This posthumous illumination, according to the wishes of Yves Klein, was made possible thanks to the assistance of the City of Paris and the Technical Services of Municipal Lighting. They have developed a special varnish which, applied to light caches; gives the Obelisk the perfect appearance of blue pigment that earned Yves Klein to be nicknamed "Yves le Monochrome". This conceptual work, imagined by Klein 25 years ago, announced those of the French and American artists who were illustrated over the following decades by happenings that did not always have this luminous glow. Yves Klein's obsession with bringing together, without dissociating them, the heart of the ephemeral: the desire for eternity, the light, and the moment.