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  • 1928 - 1953

    The beginnings of artworks

    Born in Nice in 1928, to Fred Klein (1898-1990) and Marie Raymond (1908-1989), both painters, Yves Klein is an autodidact. During his childhood the  family lives between Paris and Nice. At a very young age, Yves works in his aunt’s bookshop in Nice where he befriends the future artist Arman and the poet Claude Pascal.

    Inclined to traveling, between 1948 and 1953 he first goes to Italy, then to England - where he works at a frame maker’s learning gold-leaf gilding- to Ireland, Spain and finally to Japan.

    Over these years he devotes a lot of time to judo: holder of the prestigious rank of 4th Dan, he teaches it regularly and documents it with films and writings. From the end of the 40’s his travel diaries mention the creation of monochromes on paper, while at the same time, he imagines a Monotone-Silence Symphony and writes film scripts on art.
    • 1928-1938

      Yves Klein was born on 28th April 1928 in Nice to Frederic Klein – aka Fred Klein (Bandung, 1898 - Paris, 1990), a Dutch figurative painter born himself in Indonesia. His mother, nee Marie Raymond (La Colle-sur-Loup, 1908 - Paris, 1989), is at the time a young artist who will eventually become a well-known abstract painter.

      files/media_file_10.jpg Marie Raymond, 1948 ca.
      Photo © Willy Maywald

      Yves spent his younger years between Cagnes-sur-Mer at La Goulette, an old property located at the Haut-de-Cagnes, Paris and its suburbs, and Nice, where the family finds shelter at Marie’s parents during more difficult periods. He also spent quite some time in Nice at his aunt’s, Rose Raymond. Her tender love for him, as well as her protection and financial support will extend throughout his lifetime.

      1928_2 Fred Klein, 1948 ca.
      Photo © All rights reserved

      In 1937, Marie and Fred will take part in the Paris Universal Exhibition on the theme of the four elements within the Cote d’Azur pavilion, an artwork sponsored by the Grasse Perfumes Association.
    • 1939 → 1946

      The war takes the Klein's by surprise in Cagnes sur Mer. They sell the Goulette and rent a house in Haut de Cagnes, associate with Nicolas de Staël settled in Nice with his partner Jeanne Guiillou and her son, Antek, a playfellow of Yves. They come across the group of Grasse: Alberto Magnelli, Jean Arp, Sophie Tauber, Sonia and Robert Delaunay etc.

      Back in Paris, between 1946 and 1954, once a week on Mondays, Marie Raymond brings together the representatives of the art and litterary worlds, painters of all trends as well as artists of the new generation. Every now and then, when he is in Paris, Yves attends these evenings.

    • 1947-1948

      Back in Nice in 1947, he works at the bookshop set up by Rose Raymond for him in her shop.

      Having registered with the Police Headquarters judo club, Yves Klein meets Claude Pascal and Armand Fernandez, the future Arman.

      1947_1 Yves Klein at the Nice Judo School, 1952 ca.
      Photo © J. Nocenti

      Gathered by a great attraction for physical exercise, they all yearn for the "adventure" of travel, creation, spirituality. Judo was for Yves the first experience of "spiritual" space.

      On the beach of Nice, the three friends choose to "share the world": to Armand returns the land and its riches, to Claude Pascal the air, and to Yves the sky and its infinity:

      "As an adolescent, I wrote my name on the back of the sky in a fantastic realistico-imaginary journey, stretched out on a beach one day in Nice … I have hated birds ever since for trying to make holes in my greatest and most beautiful work! Away with the birds!"
      Yves Klein, excerpt from « Truth becomes Reality », 1960, Overcoming the problematics of Art -The writings of Yves Klein, Spring Publications, 2007

      1948-1954_2 Yves Klein and Claude Pascal in the streets of Nice, 1948 ca.
      Photo © All rights reserved

      In August, he hitch-hikes to Italy : Genoa, Portofino, Rapallo, Santa Margherita, Pisa, Florence, Rome, Naples, Capri, Ischia, Pompeii, Reggio, Palermo, Messina, Venice, then returns to Nice. 

      On 18th November, he leaves to perform his military service in the French occupied area in Germany, near the Constance Lake (Bodensee).

      He works on a Monotone-silence Symphony, a music composition on a single note followed by a long silence, which can be considered as the sound equivalent to monochrome painting.
    • 1949

      Having fulfilled his military duties, Yves travels to England with Claude Pascal to improve his English. He gets a job in London with Robert Savage, the framer, who had worked on Fred Klein’s 1946 exhibition in London in 1946. This experience will contribute to teach him thoroughness in the workplace. In particular, he focuses on gold gilding. He simultaneously carries on with his judo practice.

      Yves crafts his first monochromes between the end of 1949 and early 1950’s, using gouache and pastel on paper or cardboard, and shows them to his friends in his London room.
    • 1950

      Yves and Claude leave London on April 4th 1950, and travel to Dublin, Ireland. They soon settle there and work at the Jockey Hall, an equitation club. 

      1950_2 Yves Klein in Ireland, 1950
      Photo © All rights reserved

      On August 28th, he returns to London, resumes his activities at Savage’s, and then travels back to Nice in December.

      1950_portrait_1 Yves Klein in Ireland, 1950
      Photo © All rights reserved

    • 1951

      On February 3rd 1951, Yves Klein leaves for Madrid in order to study Spanish. At first, Claude Pascal and Yves Klein had planned an initiatory round-the-world tour, but health issues prevented Pascal from taking part. Yves pursues his judo quest, visits museums and travels to Toledo. Not without difficulty, he manages to secure employment : he gives French lessons and, from April onwards, teaches judo at the Bushido Kwaï Club, where he befriends the Manager, Fernando Franco de Sarabia, an editor’s son.

      1951_2 Rose Raymond (on the left) and Yves Klein in Toledo, Spain, June 1951
      Photo © All rights reserved

      1951_4 Excerpts from Yves Klein's Journal of Spain 
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      1951_1 Yves Klein looking at Greco's "San Juan Evangelista", Musée du Prado, 1954
      Photo © All rights reserved

      In October, Yves moves to Paris, and contacts the Tokyo Franco-Japanese Institute by post.
    • 1952

      In June 1952, Yves publishes his article “On (flawed) bases, principles, etc., and the condemnation of evolution” in the first issue of the lettrist magazine “Soulèvement de la jeunesse”.

      On August 22nd, Yves boards La Marseillaise sailing to Japan. The ship will stop over in Port-Saïd, Djibouti, Colombo, Singapore, Saigon (Ho Chi Min Ville), Manilla and Hong Kong.

      1952_1 Yves Klein on the deck of "La Marseillaise" heading for Asia
      Photo © All rights reserved


      He reaches Yokohama on September 23rd, welcomed by friends of his family – including the art critic Takachiyo Uemura. He will spend fifteen months in Japan.

      1952_3 Yves Klein stops in Hong Kong, September 1952 14th-18th
      Photo © All rights reserved


      There, he divides his time between the Kôdôkan Judo Institute and the French lessons he is giving to American and Japanese students. During his stay, he works on a book about judo, which he intends to use to introduce into Europe the spirit and technique of Japanese Katas.

      1952_5 Yves Klein at the Kodokan Institute, Tokyo, 1952
      Photo © All rights reserved


    • 1953

      In January 1953, Yves earns a Black Belt-Dan 1 degree. Together with Harold Sharp, an American friend, he starts producing documentary films about judo, showing movements performed by Japanese masters. Bearing in mind the book about judo Yves is considering having published, Sharp also films his friend practising fights and “katas”.

      Yves sets up “Marie Raymond & Fred Klein” exhibitions at the Tokyo Franco-Japanese Institute and the Tokyo Bridgestone Gallery. The sale of his parents’ works helps him to finance his stay. An evening spent with friends allows him to show his gouache monochromes in his flat. 

      1954_3 Marie Raymond, Yves Klein and Fred Klein
      Photo © All rights reserved

      During the year, he suggests to a Japanese producer to make a film called “The Mark of the Instant” in his journal Sunday November 27th (1960). He designs a trial film aiming at creating abstract shapes and imprints on the support from judo movements.

      In December, the Kôdôkan awards him his fourth Dan. 

      By the end of December, he leaves Japan on board la Marseillaise, and arrives in France in the early days of February 1954.
  • 1954 - 1957

    The international breakthrough

    On his return from Japan, he publishes in Spain Yves peintures and Haguenault peintures and in Paris Les Fondements du judo. These publications reflect a dual career of judoka and artist which he manages simultaneously.

    His Monochromes, initially of different colours, are shown for the first time at the club des Solitaires in 1955, then at Colette Allendy’s gallery the following year.

    During 1957 he finalizes the fabrication of the colour he will call IKB (International Klein Blue) typical of the works of his “Epoque bleue” and which will remain his signature until 1959.

    The shows at Milan, Paris, Düsseldorf and London will give "Yves le Monochrome" an international stature. In May 1957 two joint shows take place in Paris: “Yves Klein: Propositions monochromes” at Iris Clert and Colette Allendy galleries. His first action, the Sculpture aérostatique, a release of 1001 blue balloons Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés, takes place during the opening at Iris Clert.
    • 1954

      Back in Paris, he is challenged by the professional and institutional circles of judo. The French Judo Federation refuses to acknowledge his Japanese degree. 

      In April, he signs a contract with the editor Bernard Grasset for his book The Foundations of Judo.

      In May, invited by Fernando Franco de Sarabia, he moves to Madrid. He teaches judo at the Bushido Kwaï club, and becomes a technical advisor to the Spanish Judo Federation. He hangs monochrome pictures inside his room at the club. He visits Barcelona, San-Sebastian and Valencia.

      1954_6 Yves Klein's card as a Technical advisor at the Spanish Judo Federation in Madrid, 1954
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      In November, Yves Klein publishes Yves Peintures and Haguenault Paintings. These two collections of monochromes are produced and edited by the workshop of Fernando Franco de Sarabia, in Jaen, near Madrid. The preface signed Pascal Claude is composed of black lines in place of the text. The ten color plates are made up of unicolored rectangles cut out of paper with dimensions in millimeters. Each board shows a different place of creation, Madrid, Nice, Tokyo, Paris. Haguenault Paintings carries the mention of the collections. These two works constitute the first public gesture of Yves. Yves Paintings and Haguenault Paintings are works of art by which Yves Klein asks the question of illusion in art.

      Yves Peintures « Yves Peintures », 1954

      A misunderstanding with the chairman of the Spanish Judo Federation leads to Yves’ resignation.  

      He returns to France in early December, and settles in Paris.

      His book, The Foundations of Judo, is published during that month.

      1954_2 Yves Klein « The Foundations of Judo », Bernard Grasset Publishing, Paris, 1954
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017


      Unable to compete in the European judo championship in Brussels, he still attends the event. Then, he travels to the Netherlands and through Belgium.   

      Hains and Villeglé show two experimental films during one of Marie Raymond’s “Monday meetings”, and Yves shows his films about judo.

      At the end of 1954, Yves sketches the scenario of The War (from line to colour) or (to the monochrome proposal).
    • 1955

      On January 13th 1955, in a French café, Yves shows his publication Yves Peintures to abstract painters, one of them being Michel Seuphor.

      On February 23rd, he is hired as a judo teacher by the American Students and Artists Center, Boulevard Raspail. He will maintain this activity until the end of 1959. 

      1955_11 Poster for Yves Klein's Judo lessons at the American Students and Artists' Center, 261 Boulevard Raspail, Paris, 1955
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      On July 1st, the organisers of the Salon des Nouvelles Réalités (New Realities Exhibition) dedicated to abstract art refuse to exhibit his monochrome Expression du monde de la couleur mine orange. This event gives him the opportunity to meet Jean Tinguely, who is an exhibitor.    

      1955_1 Yves Klein in front of one of his monochromes in his studio, Paris, 1955
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017


      1955_m_060 « Expression of the universe of the color lead orange » (M_060), 1955
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      Yves opens a judo school in Paris at the end of September, with the financial support of his mother and aunt, at 104 Boulevard de Clichy. He hangs large monochromes in various colours.

      1955_7 Yves Klein’s Judo Teacher Card, Paris Academy, 104 boulevard de Clichy, Paris, 1955
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017


      October 15th is the opening of his first ever solo exhibition “Yves Peintures” at the Club des Solitaires, in the private grounds of the Lacoste publishers in Paris. He shows large monochromes in various colours.

      1955_9 Opening of the exhibition "Yves Peintures", Club des Solitaires - Éditions Lacoste, Paris, October 1955
      Photo © All rights reserved

      On December 1st, Yves meets the art critic Pierre Restany.
    • 1956

      From 21st February to 7th March, within the “Yves, propositions monochromes” exhibition at the Colette Allendy gallery, 67 Rue de l’Assomption in Paris, Yves shows monochrome pictures in various colours. Pierre Restany draws up the introduction text, “The Minute of Truth”, printed on the invitation. A debate is organised on 2nd March within the framework of the exhibition. Among those attending are Pierre Restany, Claude Rivière, Louis-Paul Favre, Bernadette Allain and Henri-Jean Closon, General Commissioner of the New Realities Exhibition in 1955.

      1956_4 Poster of the exhibition "Yves Propositions Monochromes", Galerie Colette Allendy, Paris, February 21 - March 7, 1956
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017


      In the Allendy gallery, Yves meets Marcel Barillon de Murat, a knight of the Saint-Sebastian Archers Order. He chooses as a motto : “For colour ! Against line and drawing !”

      1956_6

      1956_7 Adoration of Yves Klein to the Order of the Archers of Saint Sebastian, Saint-Nicolas-des-Champs Church, Paris, March 11, 1956 Photo © All rights reserved

      In May, the Science et Vie magazine publishes an article referring to Yves Klein’s sporting activity. The cover shows Yves practising judo.

      During the 1956 Summer, he must close down his judo school for financial reasons.

      From 4th to 31st August, he partakes with Tinguely in the 1st Festival of Avant-garde Art at the Le Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse in Marseille.   

      1956_avantgarde_1 Monochrome by Yves Klein exhibited at the 1st Festival of avant-garde art, Cité Radieuse, Marseille. Photo © All rights reserved

      Yves introduces himself to Iris Clert by bringing her an Orange Monochrome at her newly-opened gallery.    

      On 7th November, he sets up his studio at No. 9 Rue Campagne-Première in the Montparnasse quarter in Paris.

      In November, Guido Le Noci, the Milano Galleria Apollinaire manager, visits Yves in his new studio, and schedules his own exhibition for the following January.

      During the year, Yves finalises the production of the ultramarine blue colour, which will epitomize the works throughout his “blue period”, and which he will call the IKB (International Klein Blue).
    • 1957

      Open between January 2nd and 12th 1957, the “Yves Klein, Proposte monocrome, epoca blu” exhibition at the Galleria Apollinaire, via Brera in Milano, consists in eleven blue Monochromes of the same size hung in one room, and one red Monochrome in another. The invitation includes a text written by Pierre Restany, “Il secondo minute della verità”. Yves meets Lucio Fontana, who buys a Monochrome blue and befriends him. Piero Manzoni also meets Yves, and visits the exhibition several times.  

      1957_epoca_blu View of the exhibition "Yves Klein: Proposte monocrome, epoca blu", Apollinaire Gallery, Milano, January 2 - 12, 1957
      Photo © All rights reserved
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      1957_epoca_blu_2 Yves Klein making a Judo catch during his exhibition "Yves Klein: Proposte monocrome, epoca blu", Apollinaire Gallery, Milano, January 1957
      Photo © Fedele Toscani - Alinari Archives
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017
      1957_apo_2 Invitation for the exhibition "Yves Klein : Proposte monocrome, epoca blu", Apollinaire Gallery, Milano, January 1957
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017
      1957_apo_7 Yves Klein, Adriano Parisot, Lutka Pink, Pierre Restany, Ada Parisot, during the exhibition  "Yves Klein : Proposte monocrome, epoca blu", Apollinaire Gallery, Milano, January 1957
      Photo © Foto Mercurio
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      In February, he takes part in the “First psychogeography exhibition” at the Taptoë gallery in Brussels, and is involved in the “Comparisons” exhibition at the Paris Modern Art Museum.

      In March, Yves meets the German architect Werner Ruhnau and the artist Norbert Kricke, whose artwork is exhibited at the Iris Clert gallery.

      From 12th April to 8th May, Yves takes part in the “April micro-exhibition” at the Iris Clert gallery, which brings together small works by over one hundred artists – his parents included.

      In May 1957, he holds two joint exhibitions in Paris : “Monochrome proposals” simultaneously at the Iris Clert and Colette Allendy galleries. The joint invitation, shaped like a postcard, bears a blue-coloured stamp. Pierre Restany there discloses the upcoming two exhibitions of the “Blue Era”. Yves has a film made on both events, the sound track consists of the “Blue Shouts” by Charles Etienne.

      1957_allendy_1 Invitation with a blue stamp for the exhibition « Yves Klein : Propositions monochromes » Galerie Iris Clert an Gallery Collette Allendy, Paris, may 1957
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      At Iris Clert’s, Yves chooses to present his Monochrome proposals. The birth of the “Blue era” is celebrated by the launch of 1001 blue balloons on the opening. Klein will talk about this event as an Aerostatic sculpture (IMMA 027).

      1957_clert_4 The blue balloons of the "Aerostatic Sculpture" gathered in front of the Iris Clert Gallery on 10 May 1957, on the evening of the opening of the exhibition "Yves Klein: Monochrome Proposals", before they were transported to the Church of Saint Germain -des-Prés to be released in the sky
      Photo © Paul Sarisson
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      At Collette Allendy’s Yves presents a bundle of works prefiguring future evolutions : sculpture, environment, pure pigments, tanks of pure pigment, screen, the first Fire Painting Bengali fires – a One Minute Blue Fire Painting (M 041) and the first Immaterial. Indeed, a signpost announces that the exhibition continues on the first floor : "Surfaces and blocks of pictural sensitivity. Pictorial intentions”. This room is left entirely empty. A film of the exhibition was made by Yves Klein.

      1957_allendy_5 Yves Klein in the garden of the Galerie Colette Allendy, next to his "Tableau de feu bleu d'une minute" (M 041), on the occasion of the opening of the exhibition "Yves Klein: Monochrome Proposals", May 1957
      Photo © All rights reserved
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017


      1957_imma_023 Yves Klein presenting a "Pictorial Intention" Colette Allendy Gallery, Paris, on the occasion of the exhibition "Yves Klein: Monochrome Proposals", May 1957
      Photo © All rights reserved
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      From 31st May to 23rd June 1957, the exhibition “Yves, monochrome proposals” opens the Schmela gallery in Dusseldorf, with monochrome paintings in different colours.. On the invitation is printed in French the text by Pierre Restany “The minute of truth”. During this exhibition, Yves Klein meets and binds to the artists of the ZERO group (Otto Piene and Heinz Mack) as well as to the young art scene of Düsseldorf.

      1957_schmela_1 Invitation for the exhibition "Yves Propositions Monochromes", Galerie Schmela, Düsseldorf, 31 May - 23 June 1957
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      1957_schmela_4 Yves Klein, Iris Clert and Alfred Schmela (center) at the opening of the exhibition "Yves Propositions Monochromes", Galerie Schmela, Düsseldorf, 31 May 1957
      Photo © All rights reserved

      From 24th June to 13th July, the “Yves Klein Monochrome Proposals” exhibition is held in London at the Gallery One. It shows monochrome paintings in different colours. The invitation bears the Restany text, translated into English as “An act of truth”.
      On 26th June, a public debate with Klein and Restany is held at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, chaired by Lawrence Halloway.

      1957_one_4 Yves Klein with one of his Sponge Sculptures at the opening of the exhibition "Monochrome Propositions of Yves Klein", Gallery One, London, June 24, 1957
      Photo © All rights reserved © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      During the Summer, Yves meets Rotraut Uecker (Rerik, 1938) in Nice, a German artist who works as an au-pair at Arman’s, and who will become his assistant, then his wife.

      In September, he signs the Contro lo stile, Contre le style, The end of style, manifesto published in Milan. Among other signatories : Arman, Baj, Bemporad, Bertini, Colucci, Dangelo, Manzoni, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Giò Pomodoro, Pierre Restany, Saura, Sordini, Vandercam, Verga.

      In May, and having applied to decorate the Gelsenkirchen Opera, in the Ruhr area of Germany, he travels there to show the architect Werner Ruhnau his technique of sponge volumes, and then again in December when the drawings and models are exhibited. Yves is also part, at the time, of the “Kricke Group” set up by Robert Adams, Kurt Neyers and Emil Schumacher.

      Between May and September, he partakes in the “Opere delle collezioni private di Lucio Fontana e di Bruno Munari” at the Galleria Blu, “Micro-Salon di Iris Clert di Parigi in esclusività per l’Italia” at the Galleria Apollinaire, "Arte Nucleare 1957" at the Galleria San Fedele and, in Rome, in the “Micro Salon” at the Galleria La Tartaruga. He is also involved in the “Opening to the Future” exhibition at the H. Kamer Gallery in Paris and the “Internationaler Bericht der Gesellschaft der Freunde Junger Kunst » at the Kunsthalle in Dusseldorf.
  • 1958 - 1960

    Overcoming the problematics of art

    Winner of an international competition launched in 1957 by Gelsenkirchen in Germany, Yves Klein is commissioned a set of Sponge reliefs and monumental monochrome panels.

    At the same time, he tries to go beyond a definition agreed on art: he shows empty spaces, his statements have art value. The "immaterial" that the artist "specializes" is subject to deals in exchange for gold, simultaneously noble metal and colour which then takes a singular place in his work.

    The public space (the illumination of the obelisk of the Place de la Concorde) and the media (Edition of Sunday, November 27th) appear, thanks to him, as so many new art territories.

    The power of natural elements become raw material for his Cosmogonies and his reflection on art brings him to imagine a new relationship with his models who become the “living brushes “of the Anthropometries.

    His collaboration with the architect Claude Parent on the project of the Architecture de l’Air will stand out.

    On October 27th, 1960, at his home, is signed the manifesto of the Nouveaux Réalistes.
    • 1958

      On February 13th 1958, Yves signs the contract to provide the decoration for the new Gelsenkirchen theatre. He is part of the international team which has won the competition, featuring the German Norbert Kricke and Paul Dierke and the British Robert Adams. Yves is entrusted to supply six monumental panels.

      On April 24th, and under the headline “The red picture” (“Das Rote Bild”), the seventh “single-evening exhibition” of European artists organised by Otto Piene and Heinz Mack in their Dusseldorf studios where Yves Klein exhibits a red plate (M 083). The first issue of the German magazine Zero is published, including Yves Klein’s contribution “My position in the fight between line and colour”.

      web_1958_1960M_083_01 Untitled Red Monochrome (M 83)
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      On April 26th at 11:00 pm, in the presence of Yves and Iris Clert, EDF (Electricité de France) carries out a preliminary test to illuminate in blue the Concorde obelisk before the April 28th event takes place. Klein’s purpose is to complement the opening of his upcoming exhibition at Iris Clert’s scheduled for two days later by lighting up the monument.

      His private exhibition “The Specialization of Sensibility in the Raw Material State into Stabilized Pictorial Sensibility” at the Iris Clert Gallery, Paris. This exhibition is known as that of “The Void”, and referred to as the beginning of the “pneumatic era”. For this purpose, Yves designs an invitation featuring a text by Pierre Restany, an access voucher (i.e. those without it would have to pay 1,500 F), and a post-paid envelope bearing a blue stamp. Outside, the window of the Gallery is painted blue, and the entrance to the building features canopy covered in blue fabric. Inside the Gallery, presentation of “an atmosphere, of a sensitive pictorial vibe, and, for this reason, even concealed” (Yves Klein, Overcoming the problematics of art, 1959) ; the walls and window roadside have been painted in white by Yves Klein. The public is offered a blue cocktail. On the opening day, Republican Guards are at the entrance, and security has been organised. On the very day, lighting up the obelisk is forbidden by the Prefecture. The closing of the exhibition scheduled for May 5th is postponed for one week. A film explains the exhibition. After the opening, Yves delivers a fervent speech on the event and his new perspectives at La Coupole brasserie.

      1958_clert_1 Invitation for the exhibition “The Specialization of Sensibility in the Raw Material State into Stabilized Pictorial Sensibility” (The Void),  Galerie Iris Clert, Paris, 1958
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      1958_clert_3

      1958_clert_4 View of exhibition “The Specialization of Sensibility in the Raw Material State into Stabilized Pictorial Sensibility” (The Void),  Galerie Iris Clert, Paris, 1958
      Photo © All rights reserved
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      On June 5th 1958, Yves experiments for the first time, and in front of a selected audience, making a picture using a “living brush”. The word Anthropometry used to define these works will only be chosen by Pierre Restany two years later. This eventful evening took place at No. 9 rue le Regrattier, on the St-Louis Island in Paris in the flat of his friend Robert Godet, President of the International Judo Federation, publisher and contemporary art collector.  

      1958_godet_2 First experimentation of the "living brushes", Paris, 1958
      Photo © All rights reserved

      In June, Yves travels to Gelsenkirchen to show his models and drawings of Sponge Reliefs. On his way back, he visits the “Universal and International Exhibition” in Brussels.   

      During the Summer, he settles at No. 14 rue Campagne-Première. Following the rejection by the New Realities Salon of a work that Yves and Tinguely were considering to produce together (Meta-morphe on a monochrome frustration), both artists consider taking advantage of the area of the Salon by illuminating in blue works exhibited, which they call “Colonisation by the colour blue”. Both friends also decide to set up a joint exhibition at the Iris Clert Gallery.

      In September, Yves travels to Italy with his Aunt Rose. He visits Cascia in Italy, where he leaves an IKB Monochrome at the Sanctuary of Saint Rita, as a sign of gratitude for the Gelsenkirchen order.

      In October, he starts work of the Gelsenkirchen site where he produces his first Sponge Reliefs. He is assisted by Jean-Pierre Mirouze and Rotraut Uecker. He will stay several times in Gelsenkirchen until spring 1959.

      1958_opera_4
      web_1958_1960YK ph_0240

      web_1958_1960YK ph_1029

      web_1958_1960YK ph_1134
      Yves Klein at the Gelsenkirchen Opera and Theater, 1959
      Photo © Ilse Pässler

      On November 17th, opening of the “Yves Klein and Jean Tinguely, Pure Speed and Monochrome Stability” exhibition at the Iris Clert Gallery. The invitation takes the shape of a blue small monochrome disc. Both artists exhibit works they have produced jointly.

      EXP_0224_B Invitation for the exhibition “Yves Klein and Jean Tinguely, Pure speed and monochrome stability”
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      1958_vitesse_1 Jean Tinguely and Yves Klein, Impasse Ronsin, 1959
      Photo © Martha Rocher

      © Succession Yves Klein, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      © Jean Tinguely, ADAGP, Paris

      On November 22nd, Yves submits to the Gelsenkirchen Theatre Commission a speech translated by Konrad Klapheck and read by Werner Ruhnau, thanks to which his wish that blue is agreed as the unique colour for all his works is granted.
    • 1959

      Between January and May 1959, Yves works on the Gelsenkirchen site. After Rotraut has left, he benefits from the help provided by Tinguely as an interpreter. Later, Tinguely will also be involved in the décor of the theatre, having secured, in March 1959, an order for two mobile sculptures.

      On 30th January, at the opening of Jean Tinguely’s “Concert No. 2” exhibition at the Schmela Gallery in Dusseldorf, Yves delivers a speech about cooperation between artists. The event is also celebrated over three days in traditional costumes as a tribute to Tinguely and Klein in Gunther Uecker’s studio in Dusseldorf.   

      In March, he takes part in the “Vision in Motion-Motion in Vision” exhibition at the Hessenhuis in Antwerp, the first collective exhibition of the ZERO group. The exhibition commissioners are Pol Bury, Daniel Spoerri, Jean Tinguely and Paul van Hoeydonck. On the opening day, Yves delivers in the space made available to him a sentence in the words of Bachelard : “First there is nothing, then there is a deep nothing, then there is a blue depth”, and offers immaterial pictorial sensibility at the cost of one kilo of pure gold.  

      1959_hessenhuis_4 Dinner on the occasion of the exhibition "Vision in Motion-Motion in Vision" in the Hessenhuis, Antwerpen, on march 21st 1959. From left to right: Margret Mack, Heinz Mack, Otto Piene, Jean Tinguely, Daniel Spoerri, Pol Bury, Yves Klein ant the poet Emmett Williams
      Photo © Charles Wilp / BPK, Berlin

      On 27th March, Yves Klein and Werner Ruhnau sign a project for the creation of a Sensibility Centre (“Schule der Sensibilität”):  « Immaterial architecture will be the face of this school. It will be flooded with light. Twenty masters and three hundred students will work there with neither program of instruction nor examination jury » (Yves Klein, Overcoming the problematics of art, 1959).  

      On 14th April, Yves registers with the INPI (National Institute for Industrial Property) projects for an air roof, water and fire works and for a “levitating aluminium tube” in two Soleau envelopes (a Soleau envelope is evidence of the existence of a creation at a given date – translator’s note).   

      On 17th April, the “Mack’s radiant sculptures and paintings” exhibition opens at the Iris Clert Gallery. Yves drafts the introduction text, printed on the invitation, and proposes in the exhibition room the Monotone Symphony.

      Between May and June, he makes a new pilgrimage to Saint Rita in Cascia.

      29th May is the opening day for the “International cooperation between artists and architects towards the development of the Gelsenkirchen New Opera and Theatre” exhibition at the Iris Clert Gallery in Paris. Are displayed models by Ruhnau, Kricke, Tinguely, Dierkes, Adams and Klein.

      1959_international_3 Jean Tinguely, Yves Klein, Werner Ruhnau, René Brô, Iris Clert, Jesús-Rafael Soto, Galerie Iris Clert, Paris, may 1959
      Photo © Harry Shunk and Janos Kender / J.Paul Getty Trust. The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      On 3rd June, Yves delivers a lecture at the Sorbonne entitled “The evolution of art towards the immaterial”, introduced by Iris Clert, and followed, on 5th June, by a communication from Werner Ruhnau : “The development of plastic arts and architecture towards immaterialisation”. The initiative is sponsored by the German Embassy. The lecture on 3rd June was recorded.

      1959_international_2 Invitation for the "Lecture at the Sorbonne" by Yves Klein, 1959
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      1959_sorbonne_2

      web_1958_1960YK ph_0283 Yves Klein during his Lecture at the Sorbonne, Paris, 3 juin 1959
      Photo © Harry Shunk and Janos Kender / J.Paul Getty Trust. The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles
      Photo © All rights reserved

      The “Bas Reliefs in a forest of sponges” exhibition is held between 15th and 30th June at the Iris Clert Gallery.

      1959_foret_4 View of the exhibition, "Bas-reliefs in a forest of sponges", Galerie Iris Clert, Paris, 1959
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017
      Photo © Louis Peltier

      At the end of June, Yves meets the architect Claude Parent, who will work with him on several Air Architecture projects. Parent and his assistant Sorgologo produce the drawings.

      On 30th June, he registers with the INPI under a Soleau envelope the project of an aero-magnetic sculpture, an invention dated April 1959 by him. During the Summer, his relations with Iris Clert start to deteriorate.

      Yves finalises the project of voucher and counterfoil booklets for the transfer of Areas of immaterial pictorial sensitivity, which Iris Clert has printed. By the end of November, he finalises the “ritual” of such transfers.

      web_1958_1960IMMA_006 Receipt Book for the Zones of ​​Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility, (IMMA_006)
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017




      On 18th November, Iris Clert sends out the receipt for the first sale of an Area of immaterial pictorial sensibility to Peppino Palzzoli, manager of the Gallery Blu in Milano. He had purchased an immaterial art work in August 1958, subject to a receipt being delivered, signed by Yves.  In December, Yves Klein organises the first transfers of an Area of immaterial pictorial sensibility, which he will renew with other people.

      1962_blankfort_9 Transfer to Michael Blankfort of a Zone of ​​Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility, Pont-au-Double, Paris, february 10th 1962
      Photo © Gian Carlo Botti
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      Also in December, he publishes “Overcoming The Problematic of Art”, La Louvière, Montbliard publishing. 

      1959_depassement_1 Overcoming the problematics of art, La Louvière, Montbliard Publishing, 1959

      On 15th December, Yves attends the grand opening of the new Gelsenkirchen theatre.

      1959_opera_1

      web_1958_1960YK ph_5068 Gelsenkirchen Opera and Theater, december 1959
      Photo © Tous droits réservés

      1958_opera_13 Blue Monochrome, Gelsenkirchen Opera and Theater, 1999
      Photo © David Bordes
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      web_1958_1960YK ph_1182 Sponge Relief and Blue Monochrome, Gelsenkirchen Opera and Theater, 1999
      Photo © David Bordes
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      Mid-December, following a slow-down of his activity as judo teacher, he brings to an end his lessons at the American Students & Artists Center.

      During the year 1959, he is involved in the “Micro-Salon” at the Europe Gallery in Brussels, in various exhibitions such as “Dynamo 1” at the Renate Boukes Gallery in Wiesbaden, “Junge Maler der Gegenwart” at the Vienna Künstlerhaus, “Kunstsammler an Rhein und Ruhr : Malerei 1900-1959” at the Städtisches Museum in Leverkusen, “Work in Three Dimensions” at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York and the 1st Biennale de Paris at the Modern Art Museum in Paris, opened by André Malraux. 

      In Germany, Yves Klein and Jean-Pierre Mirouze create a Project for a ballet on a fugue and choral aspect. Yves will publish a description of the project in his newsletter Dimanche.
    • 1960

      On 12th January 1960, Yves practices what will become known as the Leap Into the Void from a window of Colette Allendy’s house, 67 rue de l’Assomption, Paris, in the presence of Bernadette Allain.  

      He produces his first Monogolds, using fine gold in their composition, a material as precious as emblematic.

      On 23rd February, at his home, Yves makes the imprints of Rotraut and Jacqueline who transfer the blue traces of their bodies on a large sheet of white paper, in the presence of Pierre Restany. The attendants name the work Celebrating a new Anthropometric Era. With the marks appearing on the support, Klein wants to fix in their transience the marks of the “status moments of the flesh”.

      web_1958_1960YK ph_0465 Yves Klein realizing an Anthropometry in his studio 14 rue Campagne-Première, Paris, 1960
      Photo © Harry Shunk and Janos Kender / J.Paul Getty Trust. The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      web_1958_1960YK ph_0438 Yves Klein realizing an Anthropometry in his studio 14 rue Campagne-Première, Paris, 1960 Photo © Harry Shunk and Janos Kender / J.Paul Getty Trust. The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      On 2nd March, he registers with the INPI a patent for invention entitled : “Architectural decoration or integration process and products resulting from the said process”, where the principle of “living brushes” is explained in details.

      On 9th March, Yves performs Anthropometries in the Blue Era in front of a selected audience gathered at the Contemporary Art International Gallery at 253 Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris, and managed by Count Maurice d’Arquan. The session opens on the Monotone-Silence Symphony, conducted by Yves and performed by three violins, three cellos and three choristers. Three naked models come on stage and make imprints of their bodies under the artist’s supervision. After the session, a general debate is held, with the assistance of Pierre Restany and Georges Mathieu.


      1960_anthropo2_8 Blue Period Anthropometries, Galerie Internationale d’Art Contemporain, Paris march 9th 1960
      Photo © Harry Shunk and Janos Kender / J.Paul Getty Trust. The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017


      web_1958_1960YK ph_0382_Web_2017 Blue Period Anthropometries, Galerie Internationale d’Art Contemporain, Paris march 9th 1960
      Photo © Harry Shunk and Janos Kender / J.Paul Getty Trust. The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      web_1958_1960YK ph_0326 Blue Period Anthropometries, Galerie Internationale d’Art Contemporain, Paris march 9th 1960
      Photo © Harry Shunk and Janos Kender / J.Paul Getty Trust. The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      web_1958_1960YK ph_0384 Blue Period Anthropometries, Galerie Internationale d’Art Contemporain, Paris march 9th 1960
      Photo © Agence Dalmas
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      In March, Yves produces his first Cosmogonies, works using atmospheric phenomena and natural components. On the occasion of a trip from Paris to Nice, he fitted on the roof of his car a sheet of paper freshly painted in blue and leaves it to the meteorological elements to act on it. On 23rd March, at the mouth of the river Loup, he uses plant product imprints and the river water in which he dips some of the works. 

      1960_cosmo_4 Yves Klein realizing a Cosmogony, bank of the river Loup
      Photo © Rotraut
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      web_1958_1960YK ph_0491 Yves Klein realizing a Cosmogony, bank of the river Loup
      Photo © Rotraut
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      On 16th April, Pierre Restany publishes in Milan a text entitled The New Realists in view of the collective exhibitions schedules at the Galleria Apollinaire in May. Critics will later refer to this text as the first manifesto of the movement.

      On 23rd April, Yves launches the ADAM (Association for exceeding Modern Art) at La Coupole. This session will remain the only one ever held by the association.

      On 29th April, Yves registers with the INPI an additional patent linked to the “living brushes” process.

      In May, he creates with Restany, Mirouze, Pascal and Arman the International Klein Bureau, allowing each member to realize and sign with his name IKB Monochromes.

      On 19th May, he registers with the INPI the formula for the International Klein Blue (IKB), the project of the Pneumatic Rocket, and treatment processes for printing paper using three Soleau envelopes. 

      From 11th October to 13th November is held the “Yves Klein the Monochrome” exhibition at the Rive Droite Gallery, Paris, and run by Jean Lacarde. It is the first time the colour triad is shown.


      1960_rivedroite_1 Poster of the exhibition “Yves Klein le Monochrome”, Galerie Rive Droite, Paris, 1960
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      On 19th October, Yves jumps in the void at 3 Rue Gentil-Bernard in Fontenay-aux-Roses. Photographers Harry Shunk and John Kender film the Leap into the void, as well as edit the event which will be published on the following 27th November in the Dimanche newsletter under the headline “A man in space!”. Yves reckons that this event marks the end of his activity in judo.

      1960_saut_1 Leap into the void, 5, rue Gentil-Bernard, Fontenay-aux-Roses, october 1960 The title of this work of Yves Klein according to his newspaper "Sunday, November 27th, 1960", is: "A man in space! The painter of space throws himself into the void! ", 1960
      Photo © Harry Shunk and Janos Kender / J.Paul Getty Trust. The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles.
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      27th October is the date the New Realists Group is formed, in Yves’ flat at 14 Rue Campagne-Première in Paris. The “Incorporation Act of the New Realists Group" is drafted by Pierre Restany, and signed by Arman, Dufrêne, Hains, Klein, Raysse, Restany, Spoerri, Tinguely and Villeglé. Cesar and Rotella were invited, but didn’t turn up. Later, Niki de Saint-Phalle, Gérard Deschamps and Christo join the group. The nine members sign the nine copies of the Incorporation agreement.   

      On 28th October, Klein gathers together Arman, Hains, Raysse, Restany and Tinguely in order to produce a collective Anthropometry shroud. By such gesture, Klein integrates the New Realists to his artwork.

      1960_declaration_1 Constitutive Declaration of New Realism, 1960
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017
      © All rights reserved

      1960_declaration_2 Meeting for the signing of the "Constitutive Declaration of New Realism" in Yves Klein's apartment, 14 rue Campagne-Première, Paris, October 27, 1960
      Photo © Harry Shunk and Janos Kender / J.Paul Getty Trust. The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles.

      1960_declaration_3 Meeting for the signing of the "Constitutive Declaration of New Realism" in Yves Klein's apartment, 14 rue Campagne-Première, Paris, October 27, 1960
      Photo © Harry Shunk and Janos Kender / J.Paul Getty Trust. The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles.

      On 10th November, Yves performs the Collective Anthropometry of the New Realists, with Arman, Hains, Restany and Tinguely.

      From 16th November to 15th December, the third Festival of Avant-garde Art at the exhibition centre, Porte de Versailles in Paris. Both works by Klein, Ci-gît l’espace [Here Lies the Space] and The collective Anthropometry of the New Realists are damaged by vandalism. On Sunday 27th November, within the framework of theatre shows at the festival, Yves presents the Theatre of the Void, “an ultimate form of collective theatre that a Sunday is for everyone” (Yves Klein, Dimanche, 1960). On the same day, he supplies to a few newspaper stands in Paris copies of Dimanche,”le journal d’un seul jour”, and holds a press conference at the Rive Droite Gallery.

      1960_dimanche_1 Sunday, November 27, 1960 - The Journal of a single day, 1960 © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      In 1960, Yves takes part in Milan to the “La nuova concezione artistica » at the Azimut Gallery, and “Arman, Hains, Dufrêne, Yves le Monochrome, Villeglé, Tinguely” at the Galleria Apollinaire. In Paris, he takes part in the “Antagonisms” exhibition at the Decorative Arts Museum and in “Tribute to Colette Allendy” at the Colette Allendy Gallery. Finally, he will also be involved in “Paris Obsessions” at the Staempfli Gallery in New-York and “Monochrome Malerei” at the Städtisches Museum Leverkusen.
  • 1961 - 1962

    The construction of the myth

    Radical artist, Klein is a model for the European artists of the group Zero. In October 1960, he exhibits at Galerie Rive Droite in Paris, Leo Castelli in New York, and Dwan Gallery in Los Angeles in 1961.

    In January, 1961, the Museum Haus Lange in Krefeld proposes the first institutional retrospective of his work.

    In March and July 1961, Yves Klein produces his Fire paintings at the Gaz de France test centre. Never hesitating to use his image and his private life as material for his art, Yves Klein participates in the construction of his myth.

    His collaboration with many photographers and directors testifies to this. As he undertakes the Relief portraits of his friends Arman, Claude Pascal and Martial Raysse, he dies from a heart attack on June 6th, 1962, at the age of 34.

    Besides an exceptional work, he leaves far-sighted writings that will guide the visitor of this exhibition.
    • 1961

      On 5th January, Yves registers with the INPI a patent for a model “of glass table supported by chrome or nickel coated legs".

      1961_krefeld_7 Yves Klein in the empty room devoted to "Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility", Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld, January 1961
      Photo © Charles Wilp / BPK, Berlin
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      From 14th January to 26th February is held the first institutional retrospective “Yves Klein: Monochrome und Feuer” at the Haus Lange Museum in Krefeld. The retrospective is organised in close cooperation between Yves and Paul Wember, the museum director. Yves Klein realizes there his most important retrospective. He exhibited blue, pink and gold monochromes, his Air Architecture project, the Empty room, an immaterial space that has since been part of the permanent collection of the museum. The Wall of Fire on the outside, is made up of 50 burners aligned. The lighting of the elements, in the dark, is spectacular. The rosettes in the form of daisies show, if approached, the decomposed colours of the flame: blue, gold and pink. Not far from the Wall is the flame of the Fire Sculpture. On February 26th, the closing date of the exhibition, Klein made the first Fire Paintings. A large sheet of paper or cardboard is offered to the flames of the Bunsen beaks, and bears the mark of the rosettes alone, or rosettes accompanied by the trace of The Fire Sculpture.

      1961_krefeld_13 Fire Wall and Fountain of Fire in the garden of the Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld, January 1961
      Photo © Bernward Wember
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017
      web_1960_YK ph_1180 View of the exhibition "Monochrome und Feuer", Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld, January 1961
      Photo © All rights reserved
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      web_1958_1960YK ph_1015 View of the exhibition "Monochrome und Feuer", Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld, January 1961
      Photo © All rights reserved
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      In February, he returns on a pilgrimage to the Saint Rita Monastery in Cascia, and offers as an ex-voto a Plexiglas box divided into several files and into several compartments containing blue and pink pigments, gold sheets and bars and a handwritten prayer. This work was only discovered following an earthquake in September 1979, and authenticated by Pierre Restany in 1980.  

      1961_sterita Sister Andreina with the Ex-voto dedicated by Yves Klein to Santa Rita of Cascia, Cascia, Italy 1999 From the series "The Keepers"
      Photo © David Bordes
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      On 20th February, a session of Anthropometries is filmed in Charles Wilp’s studio in Dusseldorf for the BBC “The Heartbeat of France”, broadcast on the following 14th June.

      In March, Yves carries out the first sessions of Fire Paintings at the Gaz de France testing Centre at La Plaine St Denis, near Paris.

      1961_feu_11 Yves Klein realizing a Fire Painting at the Gaz de France Test Center, Saint-Denis, France
      Photo © Louis Frédéric
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      On 26th March, Yves and Roraut Uecker arrive in New-York. They settle at the Chelsea Hotel. During his stay, Yves meets many artists such as : Duchamp, Johns, Kline, de Kooning, Newman, Rauschenberg, Rothko and Rivers.

      The exhibition “Yves Klein le Monochrome” is held from April 11th to 29th at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York.

      Yves writes The Chelsea Manifesto in English.

      On 17th May, he presents before representatives of the New-York art world his films on Anthropometry and on the Krefeld exhibition. Projection is made at the Advertising Agency Park Avenue of Foote, Cone and Belding. 

      The exhibition "A quarante degrés au-dessus de Dada" (Forty degrees above Dada) at the J Gallery in Paris runs from 17th May to 10th June. The New Realists exhibition organised by Pierre Restany takes place upon the opening of the Gallery belonging to Jeanine de Goldschmidt, his wife to be. The foreword to the catalogue written by Restany is regarded as the Group’s second manifesto. From the United States, in a letter sent to the critic, Yves expresses his disagreement with the text, in which he can see no link to Dada. 

      From 29th May to 24th June, Yves exhibits at the Dwan Gallery in Los Angeles (“Yves Klein, le Monochrome”), and uses the opportunity to show all his films.   

      1961_dawn_2 View of the exhibition "Yves Klein the Monochrome", Dwan Gallery, Los Angeles, 1961
      Photo © I. Serisawa
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      By mid-June, Yves and Rotraut return to France. 

      On 5th June, the publication of issue No. 3 of the Zero magazine leads to the “Zero. Publication. Exhibition. Demonstration” event at the Schmela Gallery in Dusseldorf. Klein’s article, “What is real becomes reality”, is published in that issue, in French and in English. The end of the French text is burnt as requested by the artist. This issue also contains the “Project for an architecture of air” manifesto, published in German [“Projekt einer Luft-Architektur”].

      web_1958_1960LIV_0035 Review "ZERO n ° 3", edited by the ZERO group, Düsseldorf, 1961
      © ZERO Foundation, Düsseldorf

      On 12th July, Yves signs the contract for the film Mondo Cane by Gualtiero Jacopetti. 

      On 17th and 18th July, the cameraman Paolo Cavara films scenes from Anthropometries at the Rive Droite Gallery as a preparation for the film.

      On 18th and 19th July, Yves produces Fire Paintings and Colored Fire Paintings at the Gaz de France test centre. Photographers Pierre Joly, Vera Cardot and Louis Frédéric produce documentaries. On the 19th, the Centre manager bans the session because it shows naked models.

      On 27th July, Yves writes to the architect Philip Johnson about a project of water and fire fountains suggested by engineers for the International New-York Exhibition, and which he wrongly considers as an misappropriation of his ideas.

      During the Autumn, Yves produces Planetary Reliefs.

      1961_grenoble_3 Yves Klein realizing a Planetary Relief in his studio, 14 rue Campagne-Première, Paris, 1961
      Photo © Gilles Raysse

      On 8th October, Yves gathers in his flat members of the New Realism and the art critics Alain Jouffroy, Pierre Descargues and John Ahbery in order to assess the Group’s affiliation to Duchamp. This meeting is called “day of the neutral observers”. That very evening at La Coupole, Yves, Martial Raysse and Raymond Hains sign a declaration dissolving the New Realists Group. It remains however, this will prove to be temporary.    

      In November, Yves and Rotraut travel to Italy. The couple go to Cascia, then Rome in order to view the film by Jacopetti on the Anthropometry. The sequence, not yet highjacked, is to Yves’ total satisfaction.

      On 20th November opens the “Yves Klein le Monochrome : il Nuovo Realismo des Clore” at the Apollinaire Gallery in Milan.  

      1961_monochrome_2 Pierre Restany at the opening of the exhibition "Yves Klein the Monochrome: the Nuovo Realismo del Colore" at the Galleria Apollinaire, Milan, 1961
      Photo © All rights reserved

      During the year, Yves has recorded on tape the improvisation later called “Dialogue with myself”. The recording starts with the Monotone-Silence Symphony (1.15 mn), then Yves starts talking.

      He imagines with Claude Parent a project of water and fire fountains for the Warsaw Waterworks at the Trocadero in Paris.

      During 1961, he takes part in the Group Zero exhibitions “Gruppo 0 + 0” at the Galleria La Salita in Rome, “Datozero” at the Dato gallery in Frankfurt, “Zero” at Gallery A in Arnheim, as well as “Aktuelle Kunstverein, Bilder und Plastiken aus des Sammlung Dotremont”, at the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen and at the Kunsthalle of Düsserldorf and “Moderne Malerei seit 1945 aus der Sammlung Dotremont” at the Kunsthalle in Basel. 

      With the New Realists, he takes part in the exhibitions “The New Realism" in Paris and New-York at the Rive Droite Gallery, "Exhibition of the New Realists" at the Samlaren Gallery in Stockholm, "first Festival of New Realism" at the Muratore Gallery in Nice.
    • 1962

      On Sunday 21st January, Yves and Rotraut are married at St Nicolas des Champs. The ceremony, staged by Yves to the smallest detail, includes the presence of Knights of the Order of Saint Sebastian in full gear. This is followed by a reception at La Coupole, extended by an evening in Larry River’s studio, Impasse Ronsin.  

      1962_mariage_8 Wedding of Yves Klein and Rotraut Uecker, Saint-Nicolas-des-Champs Church, Paris, January 21, 1962
      Photo © All rights reserved

      1962_mariage_1 Invitation for the wedding of Yves Klein and Rotraut Uecker, 1962
      © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris, 2017

      On 26th January, Yves unhooks the pictures in a room of the Paris Contemporary Art Museum, then allocated to the XVIth Violet salon in order to create an Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility area. Unhanging is done with the help of Dufrêne, Villeglé and Niki de Saint-Phalle. The following March, and within the framework of the Comparisons Exhibition, the same room should accommodate works by the New Realists. Yves has Harry Shunk film the premises in order to complement the Comparisons Exhibition showing the room empty and then the room filled with works by the New Realists (temporarily borrowed from Gallery J for the purpose of the picture).

      In February, Yves prepares moulding of Arman, Martial Raysse and Claude Pascal in order to realize the Relief Portraits. On 1st March, Yves produces The Store-Poem in cooperation with Arman, Claude Pascal and Pierre Restany.

      1962_moulages_2 Realization of the Portrait-Relief of Martial Raysse, Yves Klein's studio, 14 rue Campagne-Première, Paris, 1962
      Photo © Harry Shunk and Janos Kender / J.Paul Getty Trust. The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles.

      In 1962, Yves takes part in the collective exhibitions “Zero, Schilders door de galerie gekogen » at the Ad Libitum Gallery in Antwerp, “Nieuwe Tendenzen” at the Orez Gallery in The Hague, “Zero" within the framework of “Forum 62” at the Centrum voor Kunstambachten in Gent, “Zero” at the Schindler Gallery in Bern and “Search for a New Realism” at the Schindler de Berne and “Search for a New Realism” at the Bonnier Gallery in Lausanne.

      On 7th March opens the “Antagonisms 2, the object” at the Decorative Arts Museum in Paris.

      From 12th March to 2nd April is held the Comparisons Salon at the Paris Contemporary Art Museum.

      In May, Yves visits the Cannes Film Festival. On the 12th, he attends the first showing of Mondo Cane by Gualtiero Jacopetti. The fact that his work is completely messed up hurts him terribly. The scene he was in had been cut, editing modified, the Monotone-silence Symphony replaced by a pop song. That evening, he has a first heart attack. 

      On 15th May, during a debate on the theme “Art and Industry” at the Decorative Arts Museum, Yves intervenes violently against industrials, and also has a go at Restany and Tinguely, present at the debate. Yves goes to the opening of the exhibition “Giving to see” at the Creuze Gallery, in which is displayed the Relief Portrait of Arman. He suffers a new heart attack  

      He plans the shooting of a film with Sacha Sosno called Blue-Blue for the following September.

      On 6th June at 6:00 pm, Yves dies from an ultimate heart attack at his home, 14 rue Campagne-Première.

      On 6th August, birth in Nice of Yves, the artist’s son.

      Yves Klein rests in the small cemetery of La Colle-sur-Loup (Alpes-Maritimes), alongside Marie and Rose Raymond.

      1962_portrait_3 Yves Klein, 1960 ca.
      Photo © Harry Shunk and Janos Kender / J.Paul Getty Trust. The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles.

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