The French artist Yves Klein is perhaps most famous for his invention of the color International Klein Blue (IKB), IKB was developed by Yves Klein in collaboration with Edouard Adam, a Parisian art paint supplier whose shop is still in business on the Boulevard Edgar-Quinet in Paris. The uniqueness of IKB does not derive from the ultramarine pigment, but rather from the matte, synthetic resin binder in which the color is suspended, and which allows the pigment to maintain as much of its original qualities and intensity of color as possible.
IKB 191 (1962), one of a number of works Klein painted with International Klein Blue
If you have read my blog for a while, you might remember me writing about Maggie Nelson’s wonderful book Bluets. In it she has this passage on IKB:
78. Once I traveled to the Tate in London to see the blue paintings of Yves Klein, who invented and patented his own shade of ultramarine, International Klein Blue (IKB), then painted canvases and objects with it throughout a period of his life he dubbed “l’epoque bleue.” Standing in front of these blue paintings, or propositions, at the Tate, feeling their blue radiate out so hotly that it seemed to be touching, perhaps even hurting, my eyeballs, I wrote but one phrase in my notebook: too much.
Maggie Nelson: Bluets. Wave books (2009)
But Klein was not only a painter, he was also a pioneer in the development of performance art, and is especially well known for his leaps.
A great little post on Yves Klein’s famous “Leap Into the Void” – can be found here: THE DAILY PIC (#1389): This is Yves Klein’s famous “Leap Into…
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I loved Bluets – every so often I came across a hue of blue that makes me want to fire off the shutter to try and capture it… some of my attempts https://earthstills.wordpress.com/tag/maggie-nelson/
I coundn’t myself resist to see an implicit link between Klein’s Leap and his blue, because they make me feel the same thing : an extreme, enthousiastic and joyfull self-abandon ; something close to what I’ve read on Blake Gopnik post : “maybe it tells us that it’s the act of leaping that matters, rather than where you end up or whether the leap puts you at any risk.” In a certain way, the Klein works you speak of make me think of what Deleuze said about creating, a dangerous conquest of the will of power if my memory doesn’t betray me 😉 Your post speaks very much to me 🙂
Thank you! Great comments!
you might be interested in Bas Jan Ader. he was a Dutch conceptual and performance artist, he made some wonderfully weird films in which he is falling. literally, falling. he was very interested in that moment between letting go and falling down. you can find some of his stuff on youtube.
I know a little bit about Ader, but haven’t considered him in relation to this – thank you for mentioning!