30.11.1959

Par Yves Klein

The "Living brushes"

Realization of an Anthropometry (ANT 133), 1960
© Photo Harry Shunk and Janos Kender / J.Paul Getty Trust. The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2014.R.20)
"Having had rejected brushes as too excessively psychological already earlier, I painted with rollers, in order to be remain anonymous and at a distance between the canvas and myself during the execution, at least intellectually..."
I very quickly perceived that it was the block of the human body, which is to say, the trunk and a part of the thighs that fascinated me. The hands, the arms, the head, the legs were of no importance. Only the body is alive, all-powerful, and it does not think. The head, the arms, the hands are intellectual articulations around the flesh, which is the body!"
Yves Klein, excerpt from « Truth becomes Reality », 1960, Overcoming the problematics of Art -The writings of Yves Klein, Spring Publications, 2007


"Whatever directed me towards anthropometry?
The answer can be found in my work during the years 1956 to 1957, when I was taking part in the adventure of creating the pictorial immaterial sensitivity. I had just removed from my studio all my former works. The result – an empty studio. My only physical action was to remain in my empty studio, and the creation of my pictorial immaterial states proceeded marvelously. However, little by little, I became mistrustful of myself: but never of the immaterial. I therefore hired models, as other painters do. But unlike the others, I merely wanted to work in their company rather than have them pose for me. I had been spending too much time alone in the empty studio; I no longer wanted to remain alone with the marvelous blue void that was budding. (...)
Today, the academicized easel-painters have reached the point of shutting themselves in their studios, confronting the terrifying mirrors of their canvases. Now the reason for my use of nude models becomes quite evident: it was a way of preventing the danger of secluding myself in the overly spiritual spheres of creation, thus rupturing with the most basic common sense, repeatedly affirmed by our incarnate condition. The shape of the body, its lines, its strange colors hovering between life and death, hold no interest for me. Only the essential, pure affective climate of the flesh is valid."
Yves Klein, excerpt from « Chelsea Hotel Manifesto», 1961, Overcoming the problematics of Art -The writings of Yves Klein, Spring Publications, 2007, p. 199

"One day, I understood that my hands, the tools by which I manipulated color, were no longer sufficient. I needed to paint monochrome canvases with the models themselves... No, this was no erotic folly! It was even more beautiful. I threw a large white canvas on the ground. I poured some twenty kilos of blue paint in the middle of it and the model literally jumped into it. She painted the painting by rolling her body over the surface of the canvas in every direction. I directed the operation standing up, moving quickly around the entire perimeter of that fantastic surface on the ground, guiding the model’s every movement, and repositioning her."
Yves Klein, excerpt from Sunday, November 27th, 1960, The Newspaper of a Single Day, (IMMA 036), 1960
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