Tag Archives: conceptual art

OWNING THE IMMATERIAL

12 Feb
Yves Klein issues a receipt for the Immaterial to Dino Buzzati and releasing Zones of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility into the Seine. Paris, 1962.

Yves Klein issues a receipt for the Immaterial to Dino Buzzati, and releasing Zones of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility into the Seine. Paris, 1962.

Yves Klein (1928-1962, previously) offered a limited “edition” of ten “Zones of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility” to collectors in exchange for specified weights of gold. A receipt was issued for every one, stating the weight of gold handed over. The receipt was burned and then half the gold was irretrievably thrown away so there could be no question of the buyer owning any physical object or residue, apart from their memory of the action. Note that although he doesn’t spell it out, the assumption must be that Klein shrewdly kept the other half of the gold. Even a mystical conceptual artist has to eat. Observe also the bow tie that seems to have been de rigeur for Continental artists circa 1960. All images here are from the Yves Klein Archives. Continue reading

Advertisements

THE VOID

11 Feb
Yves Klein, IKB171

Yves Klein, IKB171

Most people never get to see art galleries when they’re between shows and completely empty of art. Personally, I often find that I like the now orthodox and universal white cube gallery setup much more when it’s vacant than I do when it’s full. I’m remembered in a few places for having them paint the walls because I hate white ones so much when I’m showing my work. I’m guessing that Yves Klein (1928-1962) was also struck by the alienating, Zen effect of the empty white gallery and its effect on our state of mind as we look at art; hence Le Vide (The Void) of 1958 at Galerie Iris Clert, Paris.

This completely whitewashed, bare space was meticulously hyped by Klein and the resulting so-called “scandal” of an artist exhibiting an empty gallery attracted over two thousand people to the opening. Note the empty vitrine in one of the pictures. Here’s where I sigh and ruefully shake my head at the fact that over half a century on from Klein, there are still some otherwise intelligent people (including artists) who don’t understand conceptual art, performance and artistic interventions, and still think it’s scandalous and enraging if an artist doesn’t produce a saleable physical object.

On the subject of white sterility, though, The Void in these photographs actually looks quite grimy and textured in that particularly Parisian way, doesn’t it? It’s not a smooth, clinical space, that’s for certain.

These images are from the interesting and comprehensive Yves Klein Archives.

1958_clert_5 1958_clert_4 1958_clert_2 1958_clert_3

“GALLIZIO PRODUCES PAINTING BY THE METER”

9 Feb
GallizioIndustrialCutAndSale

Pinot Gallizio cutting and selling a scroll of industrial paintings by the meter. Inauguration of ‘Industrille Malerei’ show at Van de Loo Gallery, Munich, April 1959.

Giuseppe (Pinot) Gallizio (1904-1964) worked for most of his life as a pharmacist in Turin. Like many people (including me) who come late or by an otherwise circuitous route to the art world, many of its practices and assumptions struck him as utterly absurd; even more so as he began to participate in them. Gallizio was a founding member of the International Situationists (society of the spectacle masking the degrading effects of capitalism, Guy Debord, the 1968 French uprisings, détournement, dérives, etc: it’s far too large a subject to cover in a single blog post…) and in his art works he tried to cultivate a sense of play and creativity in the face of the capitalist imperative to recuperate, neutralise, and monetise even something as indefinable as art.

One of his projects was industrial paintings, abstract works on scrolls that were designed to be sold and cut on the spot like any other commodity, such as the original blank canvas it was painted on.  The paintings themselves aren’t actually very good or interesting, but that isn’t the point of them. He was making fun of the idea of art as a unique object or a finite resource; judging by the photos on the left, he was having a lot of fun doing it too. What a suave gent. I have to admit that on a few occasions I’ve rocked this bushy moustache and bow tie look at art openings. There’s a post on Yves Klein coming up soon; he favoured similar outfits as well and he also always looks like he’s having a great time in all the photos of him I’ve seen. I’m definitely going to apply myself to perfecting the late 50s/early 60s Continental look now. Like Klein, Gallizio was ahead of his time with his thinking on capitalism, commodification and intellectual property in the art world and in Western society in general.

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: