Yves Klein was born in Nice on April 28, 1928, in the street Verdi; his mother, born Raymond, was native of the Alpes-Maritimes. His parents being artists themselves, the young Yves evolved very quickly in the artistic environment. After his studies in a school of the merchant navy, and a brief stay in the school of oriental languages, he realized in 1949, at the age of 21, his first paintings by inventorying, already, the possibilities of the monochrome. He travelled in Japan, in 1952 and 1953 , to improve his judo, sport he practised at a high level. He exposed his first monochromes in Paris in 1955. He alternated researches and innovations in the galleries of Paris, Milan or Nice. From 1957, he proposed a work on an intense ultramarine blue pigment he entitled IKB ( International Klein Blue) and with which he covered different objects. In 1958, he realized, in Paris, at Iris Clert’s, a memorable exhibition on the subject of the space: the gallery was empty. This " Action-Spectacle " will assure his fame. The performances of painting with " alive paintbrushes ", women coated with blue, gave birth to the "anthropometries" from 1958. These actions took place, in the presence of the public and of the orchestra, in his Parisian apartment or in Nice. He was a member of the group of the new realists which was constituted, in 1960 , around Pierre Restany and whose first demonstrations often took place in Nice (in July, 1961, first festival of the New Realism). Klein made up fire paintings with gas or "cosmogonical" works by the interaction of wind or of rain on paintings fastened on the roof of his car between Paris and Nice or dipped into the water at the mouth of the river Loup in Cagnes. The works of the artist confused his contemporaries because of the surprising actions or materials but he is, nowadays , among the essential milestones of modernity. Yves Klein died from a heart attack on June 6, 1962. He was buried in the cemetery of La Colle-sur-Loup.

 

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