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
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.
“HE’S TAKEN TO A PALACE FULL OF FRUIT… THE CURE FOR BLINDNESS IS A REMIX OF A SONG BY COLDPLAY”
… are just two of things that happen when Kanye West decides he’s a video artist and makes a seven screen installation to be shown in Cannes. Well, in a tent in a car park in Cannes. Naughty Kanye isn’t the first and nor will he be the last artist to massage their CV by claiming more approval, imprimatur and enthusiasm for his work than actually exists. Like those artists, he’s probably gambling (and he’s probably right) that people will notice “Cannes” first then skip all subsequent processing.