Yves Klein

Yves Klein's first important work was a 1954 book called Yves Peintures, a mock catalog that begins with a preface containing no words, only thick black lines, then moves on to supposed reproductions of 10 monochromatic paintings, each labeled with its dimensions and city of creation, though it's almost certain that the paintings were never created. (Not in the usual sense, that is.) Klein, who died at 34, was a prankster and stunt man, as well as a self-styled mystic, and his work is often at once funny and obliquely metaphysical. He's best known for his patented ultramarine (International Klein Blue), used for monochromatic paintings and "anthropometries" (for which paint-covered naked women served as rollers and brushes), but he also worked in film, photography, music, and what would soon be called conceptual art (his most famous installation, The Void, was an empty white space). Paradoxically, he was an outsized personality who labored to keep his own hand out of his art, eschewing self-expression in an effort to get the viewer to contemplate the infinite. This exhibition features 200 pieces, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, documents, photos, and films. The After Hours Preview Party is $35 and includes cocktails, food, and activities from 9 p.m. to midnight Friday, October 22; the opening day talk features Daniel Moquay from the Yves Klein Archives and is $10 at 2 p.m. Saturday, October 23. (Photo by Milton Toscas)
Oct. 22-Feb. 13, 2010

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