November 2, 2004 - Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt - Yves Klein
November 2, 2004

Yves Klein

Yves Klein
17 September 2004 – 9 January 2005

60311 Frankfurt, Germany
tel: (+49-69) 29 98 82-0
fax: (+49-69) 29 98 82-240

Vampire (ANT SU 20), ca. 1961, pigment, synthetic resin on fabric, 140 x 94 cm, private collection, (c) VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2004   

Yves Klein (1928-1962) is considered one of the most important and original artists of the twentieth century. His diverse oeuvre, all produced during a period of just seven years, anticipated many trends such as the happening and performance, Land Art and Body Art and elements of Conceptual Art, and it has had a lasting influence on art that continues today. His many-layered personality, which fluctuated between extreme concentration and a total lack of boundaries, is also reflected in his oeuvre, in which monochromy and figuration or spirituality and theatricality did not represent antithesis. Instead, they all served Klein’s overriding goal: to comprehend life by means of art. This retrospective shows the major works of each phase: the first color monochrome paintings in orange, yellow, green, red, black or white; the famous blue monochromes and the sponge reliefs and sculptures; the much debated anthropometries, in which he employed female models as “living brushes;” the “monogolds;” and his final experiments with fire and elements of nature. More than one hundred works have been assembled from international museums like the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the Fondacion del Museo Guggenheim Bilbao, the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas, and from numerous private collections.

Olivier Berggruen and Ingrid Pfeiffer, the curators of the exhibition: “Klein’s famous photograph ‘Leap into the Void’, which depicts him floating above a street, is a symbol of the desire to overcome gravity. It is a manifestation of Klein’s will to transcend limits, which runs through his entire oeuvre. The exhibition seeks to reveal the uncommon variety and the visionary character of the artist who has entered the history books as ‘Yves, Le Monochrome.’ One aspect of the exhibition is Yves Klein’s relationship to Germany, and to that end numerous eyewitnesses of his day were interviewed and new, unpublished material was obtained.”

Max Hollein, the director of the Schirn: “Klein’s oeuvre unites modernism and postmodernism and in doing so also draws the demarcation line between them: on the one hand, his statements and his claim to ‘universality’ point to the modernist avant-garde from Mondrian to Malevich; on the other, Klein negated and undermined the classical work of art, dissolved into an action, and styled himself as an artistic personality in a way that anticipated the strategies of Andy Warhol or Joseph Beuys. His staging of even the minutest details and the orchestration of their reception, along with his linking of art and science, make him one of the most relevant figures for current art.”

CATALOG: Yves Klein. Edited by Olivier Berggruen, Max Hollein, and Ingrid Pfeiffer. With a preface by Max Hollein and texts by Nuit Banai, Olivier Berggruen, Paolo Bianchi, Frederic Migayrou, Elena Palumbo-Mosca, Hans Passler, Ingrid Pfeiffer, Jean-Michel Ribettes, Nicole Root, and Gunther Uecker. German and English editions, ca. 280 pages, ca. 130 color and 60 black-and-white illustrations, ISBN 3-7757-1446-4 (German), ISBN 3-7757-1447-2 (English), Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit.
DIRECTOR: Max Hollein
CURATORS: Olivier Berggruen and Ingrid Pfeiffer
OPENING HOURS: Tue, Fri-Sun 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Wed and Thur 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

(texts and pictures for download under PRESS).

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
Share - Yves Klein
  • Share