When you see a piece of art by artist Yves Klein, you catch a glimpse of the sky. His striking blue paintings are unlike any you’ve ever seen: So blue, and so deep that you feel as if you’ll fall into an ocean of blue if you keep looking. There’s a reason Yves Klein’s art is so stunning – it changed the art world in its time. We’ll look at the history of the man and how his art came into being.
Who Was Yves Klein?
Born in 1928 in Nice, France, Yves Klein was destined to be an artist. His mother was a leading figure in the Art Informel movement, and his father was a master of Post-Impressionist landscapes. Even with no formal artistic training, Yves was exposed to the art world very early on. During the summers, he lived with his much stricter aunt – who lent an air of stability to his life. This was in stark contrast to his free-spirited life with his parents, and is believed to have had an impact on his art. As a young man, Klein became friends with two artists – Claude Pascal and Arman Fernandez. From this friendship, Yves Klein’s famous blue paintings were born.
Glimpsing the Depths of the Sky
Yves Klein experienced a breakthrough one day while spending time with his friends, Claude and Arman. Lying on the beach in Nice discussing life, they decided to divide the universe between them. Pascal chose language, Arman chose earthly materials, and Yves (while gazing into the deep blue sky) chose “the void.” Thus began his study of what he called the infinite – and the use of the color blue.
The Birth of International Klein Blue
Klein continued studying the void and the infinite – both of which he felt were embodied in the sky. In 1956, Klein worked with a chemical technician, and the color International Klein Blue was born. Created using an ultramarine pigment suspended in petroleum extracts, the striking color jumps from the canvas – glowing almost with a light from within. With the creation of this new color, Yves’ “Blue Perios” began. Through the rest of his life, Klein painted close to 200 blue, monochrome paintings that are beloved by the world.
Artist Yves Klein’s Paintings Reimagined
Klein’s paintings are rare – and owning one is impossible for most of us. But, artist Joseph Wagner is deeply inspired by Yves Klein and his International Klein Blue. He authentic works are inspired by Yves’ originals. You can own an Yves Klein print for your home – by a modern artist inspired by Klein and his iconic color.