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Ikb 182 Le monochrome, 1961

Yves Klein
Dry pigment and synthetic resin on gauze
19,8 x 18,2 cm


A nugget. A meteorite. An unimagined seeing object. An IKB. “ International Klein Blue ”. Yves Klein chose blue,
because it has no dimensions, like the sky and the sea, the most abstract and necessary forms in nature.

Immaterial, infinite, unsurpassable. The especially designed ultramarine, since each pigment preserves its radiance. The monochrome desire to finally reach spiritual absolute. A work that can be measured against space, in a loyal battle: of the kind the painter prefers, who also excelled at judo.


Judo, which Yves Klein started practicing at 19, was not a mere hobby. In 1947, it wasn’t yet a sport but an educational tool whose aim was self-control, and practicing it brought him rigour, a spiritual discipline, a calm energy which had an effect on his life and his art.

His faith, his clairvoyance about the path he was treading and his creative sparkle explain his physical and mental strength. Over a very short period of time, since he died of a heart attack in 1962 aged 34, he managed to impose his ideas, his thoughts, his vision, showing in Paris, Milan, Los Angeles and New York, promoting his work with a consummate sense of commentary and of relevance. His complete body of works was driven by one desire: to be an artist of space and of the immaterial. In this respect, he embodied a prophetic figure of the coming century. But, in the mid-50s, his approach was unheard of. In addition to his Monochromes and IKB ( he produced 200 of them ) , which brought him closerto the energy of the universe, he used the four elements as creative material : he produced his Peintures de feu with gas flames skimming the surface of the canvas; envisioned an Architecture de l’air for a finally immaterial future; his Cosmogonies bear the print of nature, and likewise he revealed those of bodies in his Anthropométries ; his Reliefs planétaires reference the topography of moonscapes … A space artist, it was his destiny to go there. In this respect, his 1960 performance, Le Saut dans le vide was a major event. His dazzling career was then halted midflight. An ominous jump.

Exhibition Poussières d’étoiles (Stardust)
From 24th May to 15th Decembre 2018
Under the creative guidance of Garance Primat
Curators: Hervé Mikaeloff et Ingrid Pux