Tate Liverpool will be presenting an exhibition dedicated to influential French modern master Yves Klein, running from October 21 to March 5. An artist who conquered various mediums in his mere 34 years of life, the exhibition will compile 30 major works never before seen in the UK.
The collection curated by Tate Liverpool’s Exhibitions & Displays Curator Darren Pih will include Klein’s iconic Anthropometry paintings (where nude models served as living paint brushes), Fire Paintings (created with a flame thrower), sponge sculptures, photographed stunts, and monochrome paintings.
Born into a family of artists, Klein’s father was figurative painter while his mother was a well-known abstract painter; Klein’s son is today a creator of robotized scupltures. For his part, Yves Klein found himself squarely in the New Realism movement, along with Arman, François Dufrêne, Raymond Hains, Martial Raysse, Daniel Spoerri, Jean Tinguely, and Jacques de la Villeglé. At various times though, Klein was identified with neo-Dada and Postmodernism. He explored multiple artistic mediums throughout his short but intense career, from painting and sculpture to photography.
His artistic feats were frequently expressed through the use of pure colors. His signature was the International Klein Blue (IKB), a pure-pigment Tate Liverpool describes as “a distinctive ultramarine able to invoke a powerfully depthless sense of space on the surface of the work.”
The year 1957 marked the peak of Klein’s Blue Period, where the artist released 1,001 blue balloons skyward on the inauguration day of his Paris exhibition, which fittingly exhibited a room of blue monochromes.
“There is nothing but the unity of a single color,” Klein said of his monochrome paintings. “The dominant invades the entire picture, as it were. In this way I seek to individualize the color, because I have come to believe that there is a living world of each color and I express these worlds.”
Klein even went on to develop his own patented paint formula, the aforementioned International Klein Blue (IKB). By varying the concentration of the pigment and type of solvent, the paint could be applied with a brush, roller or spray gun. His artistic motto was “For color! Against line and drawing!” Tate Liverpool
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