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Yves Klein
February 10, 2006 11:03 AM   Subscribe

He liked blue. In fact, he patented his own blue. He like to claim that he could fly unaided. There was a movie. In it, he colored naked women blue and had them make a painting. The film treated this comically, and he was crushed. Two weeks after the film opened, he died of a heart attack.
posted by Astro Zombie (23 comments total)

 
(Wikipedia article.)

Me, at a london museum, in front of a solid blue Klein piece: "I'm not really sure the piece matters at all outside an absurdly small, specific cultural context."

A scientist who was also there: "Well, do you like the blue?"

Me: "... It could be a little lighter."
posted by Tlogmer at 11:08 AM on February 10, 2006


I like the blue too.

Klein? eh...
posted by j.p. Hung at 11:24 AM on February 10, 2006


Its a good blue, a bit better than ours.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:30 AM on February 10, 2006


After seeing the scene in Mondo Cane, which I took with a grain of salt since the film ridicules the majority of its subject matter, I ended up seeing one of the blue woman works at the Walker Art Center. I like the blue. It was kind of disorienting to see film of the actual occurrence in the 70s and then see the actual work.
posted by mikeh at 11:36 AM on February 10, 2006


Neat.
posted by bardic at 12:10 PM on February 10, 2006


I like the blue.
posted by mrbill at 12:12 PM on February 10, 2006


We are printing our comments on International Haughey Blue, know among Mefites as IHB
posted by Cranberry at 12:20 PM on February 10, 2006


I sing about blue (mp3)
posted by phirleh at 12:27 PM on February 10, 2006



posted by wakko at 12:41 PM on February 10, 2006


IKlein's influence on our view of contemporary art is underrated. He had as much effect as some of the bigger stars (Warhol, Pollock, etc.). I think he was just too weird to be likable in the same way.

His most interesting works were a series in which he exchanged empty spaces along the Seine for gold leaf, then "cleansed" the spaces of their commercial value by throwing the gold leaf into the river. With decades of hindsight, it looks both pretentious and silly, but at the time it was probably pretty exciting stuff. I particularly like the idea that -- from what I've heard -- he didn't really explain anything to his buyers. He just told them to bring some gold leaf, then forced them to intuit the process of bidding on the space as he described it.

Also, "Le saut dans le vide" is one of my favorite artworks ever.

And it is an awfully pretty shade of blue.
posted by medialyte at 12:42 PM on February 10, 2006


If you're interested in hearing Yves Klein's most recent thoughts, check out Archive's medium-assistedArt After Death series.
posted by mert at 12:48 PM on February 10, 2006


I love the whole story of Yves Klein.
And the pic.
And the blue.
Thanks, Astro Zombie.

Nice resonance with yesterday nytimes article on Franks Stella's black paintings.
posted by bru at 12:54 PM on February 10, 2006


Did he patent the color tone itself or only some chemical composition for making the color? (A search on Yves Klein as the inventor on the USPTO database came up zip...)
posted by sour cream at 12:55 PM on February 10, 2006


a friend recently told me that in order to maintain the almost otherwordly intense blue his paintings are repainted with his special mixture on a regular basis. I wonder if that's true. anyway, I love the blue.
posted by namagomi at 1:33 PM on February 10, 2006


Dob't forget Derek Jarman's Blue. One hour and seventeen minutes of luminous blue shown (uncut) on British TV about 15 years ago
posted by marvin at 1:38 PM on February 10, 2006


Thanks for this. I'm a real fan of "Monde Cane", and yes, even in the context of the film overall, the Klein sequence always seems a trifle silly. This brings a context to it I've never appreciated before. And now I see where Annie Sprinkle (NSFW) may have cribbed the idea.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:44 PM on February 10, 2006


sour cream, I think he patented the paint composition, not the color:
Klein realized that pigments always tended to look richer and more gorgeous as a dry powder than when mixed with a binder, and he wanted to find a way to capture this appearance in a paint. In 1955 he found his answer: a new synthetic fixative resin called Rhodopas M60A, which could be thinned to act as a binder without impairing the chromatic strength of the pigment. This gave the paint surface a matt, velvety texture.

Klein collaborated with a Parisian chemical manufacturer and retailer of artists' materials named Edouard Adam to develop a recipe for binding ultramarine in the resin mixed with other organic chemicals. To protect this wonderful new paint from misuse that would compromise the purity of his idea, he patented it in 1960.
posted by caddis at 1:58 PM on February 10, 2006


You can't patent a color. You can trademark one under US law.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:02 PM on February 10, 2006


I think Blue Man Group uses his blue, and his idea for painting a canvas by first painting a person and then contacting the canvas with the person.
posted by caddis at 2:04 PM on February 10, 2006


France sonofsamiam (you still can't patent color in France I am sure)
posted by caddis at 2:05 PM on February 10, 2006


Sardonic postmodern irony claims another life.
posted by slatternus at 7:09 PM on February 10, 2006


I love his work (and that blue)! i had no idea about that movie--awful...

he really set the stage for so much of the work of the 60s--and beyond.
posted by amberglow at 7:23 PM on February 10, 2006


Similar, yet dissimilar. I think this concept deconstructs itself in too obvious a way.
posted by dhartung at 10:39 PM on February 10, 2006


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