Yves Klein (28 April 1928 – 6 June 1962) was a French artist and is considered an important figure in post-war European art. He made a lot of monochrome paintings, mostly in his famous blue, and in gold colour. He had a lot of influence on the Zero-artists and on Joseph Beuys.
- I was trying to show colour, but I realized at the private view that the public were prisoners of a preconceived point of view and that, confronted with all these surfaces of different colours, they responded far more to the inter-relationship of the different propositions, they reconstituted the elements of a decorative polychromy.
- 1956; in: "Yves Klein, 1928 – 1962, Selected Writings", ed. J & J, the Tate Gallery, London 1974, p. 30.
- It was then that I remembered the colour blue, the blue of the sky in nice that was at the origin of my career as monochromist. I started work towards the end of 1956 and in 1957 I had an exhibition in Milan which consisted entirely of what I dared to call my 'Epoque bleue'.
- 1957; in: "Yves Klein, 1928 – 1962, Selected Writings", ed. J & J, the Tate Gallery, London 1974, p. 31.
- The immaterial blue colour shown at Iris Clert’s in April had in short made me inhuman, had excluded me from the world of tangible reality; I was an extreme element of society who lived in space and who had no means of coming back to earth. Jean Tinguely saw me in space and signaled to me in speed to show me the last machine to take to return to the ephemerality of material life.
- 1958; in: "Yves Klein, 1928 – 1962, Selected Writings", ed. J & J, the Tate Gallery, London 1974, p. 47
- About an exhibitions April 1958 at Iris Clert together with the sculptor Jean Tinguely. Tanguely created art-machines made from old metal engine parts.
- Blue has no dimensions, it is beyond dimensions, whereas the other colours are not. They are pre-psychological expanses, red, for example, presupposing a site radiating heat. All colours arouse specific associative ideas, psychologically material or tangible, while blue suggests at most the sea and sky, and they, after all, are in actual, visible nature what is most abstract.
- 1959 lecture at the Sorbonne; in: Studio International, Vol. 186 (1973), p. 43; Also quoted in: David Batchelor (2008) Colour. p. 122.
- The immaterial told me that I was indeed an occidental, a right-thinking Christian who believes in the ‘Resurrection of the flesh’. A whole phenomenology then appeared, but a phenomenology without ideas, or rather without any of the systems of official conventions. What appeared was distinct from form and became Immediacy. ‘The mark of the immediate’ – that was what I needed.
- 1960; in: "Yves Klein, 1928 – 1962, Selected Writings", ed. J & J, the Tate Gallery, London 1974, p. 53.
Attributed from posthumous publications
- The essential of painting is that something, that 'ethereal glue', that intermediary product which the artist secretes with all his creative being and which he has to place, to encrust, to impregnate into the pictorial stuff of the painting.
- Yves Klein, catalogue of exhibition in the Jewish Museum, New York 1967, p. 18.
- Space is waiting for our love, as I am longing for you; go with me, travelling through space.. (line in a poem of Klein himself)
- De Tweede Helft, Ad de Visser, SUN, Nijmegen 1998, p. 107.
- Bill for 20 grams of Pure Gold, for one painted area of sensibilized immaterial. (about 1958, text on a bill for selling 'air')
- De Tweede Helft, Ad de Visser, SUN, Nijmegen 1998, p. 106.
- The world is blue.
- Abstract Art, Anna Moszynska, Thames and Hudson 1990, p. 182.
- I am against the line and all its consequences: contours, forms, composition. All paintings of whatever sort, figuratives or abstract, seem to me like prison windows in which the lines, precisely are the bars.
- Gilbert Perlein and Bruno Cora, Yves Klein: Long live the Immaterial, Delano Greenidge Edition, New York, 2001. p. 74.