Sunday, June 6th, 2010
Yves Klein, Le Saut dans le vide [Leap into the Void], at 5, rue Gentil-Bernard, Fontenay-aux-Roses, France, October 1960. © 2010 Artists Rights Society(ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. Photo by Shunk-Kender, © Roy Lichtenstein Foundation. Courtesy Yves Klein Archives.
It is astounding that there hasn’t been a significant showing of Yves Klein in the U.S. for nearly three decades – almost as many years long as the artist’s short life. The fatal heart attack suffered by the 34 year old in 1962 signaled the end of a creative career that came and went in under a decade. Still, with little reference to anything that had come before, Klein’s contributions helped inform the transition from modern art’s focus on the tangible, to contemporary conceptual concerns with the theoretical.
The Hirshhorn Museum’s (Washington D.C.) current retrospective is a appropriate homage to such an important figure. Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers, includes major examples from every aspect of the artist’s career, including his Anthropometries, Cosmogonies, fire paintings, planetary reliefs, blue monochromes, sponge reliefs, “air architecture,” and immaterial works.
As crucial as his physical forms, are the ideas Klein communicated through bold and and acutely self-aware manifestos, personal notes, letters and interviews. Here, the museum has resurrected the artist-philosopher, allowing Kelin to share his own story and and ideas through a spirited and dynamic timeline that effectively aggregates multiple online social and media platforms. ”We felt it was essential not only to present Klein as the maker of beautiful objects but also as a thinker, a philosopher who paved the way for future generations,” says exhibition co-curator Kerry Brougher, chief curator and deputy director of the Museum.
Selection from Yves Klein: The Blue Revolution. Director: François Lévy-Kuentz. Courtesy Yves Klein Archives. Coproduction © 2006 MK2TV, Le Centre Pompidou, Y Amu Klein/Moquay in association with France 5. Video © 2007 Le Réunion des musées nationaux—EDV 288
Visit the Hirshhorn now until September 12, and access the museum’s social media archive and interactive timeline here
Read on for more images