bleu

by Stormfish June. 20, 2013 3293 views

yves klein [en.wikipedia.org] (1928 - 1962) was a french artist considered important in european art after the second world war.

i saw his monochrome picture “blue” the first time in the berliner neue nationalgalerie [smb.museum] as a teenager in the 1970ies. i remember looking at it on a school excursion and thinking: “THIS is supposed to be art?? heck, i could do that! i could just get me a bucket of blue color and paint a canvas totally blue and sell it as a piece of art! this is just humbug and that's what's WRONG with modern art!”

i've had many debates about this in the following years, as a student, about literature, about movies, about pictures… about everything. and of course, i learned about conceptual art, about performance, about the message not being the skillful production or the product itself being the intention in art, but the idea behind it, which in yves klein's pictures relates to his contemplation of the sky, the emptiness, the immaterialization and transparence of art within the medium/context.

all of these are intriguing concepts and have occupied me for many years, and i am happy to say that my art teacher, who forced us into these school excursions we considered rather a boring nuisance, actually has succeeded in keeping my mind busy with these questions.

on my recent trip back to berlin, i decided to visit yves klein's picture again to find out if i would still think the same about it after more than 30 years. and this turned out to be the most defining moment of my trip; not only because all this time had gone by and the picture still, unchanged, hangs there amongst other masterpieces of the 60ies, in dim light, guarded by an oversensitive optical alarm and placed behind protective plastic casing (another piece by klein was recently sold [nytimes.com]for $ 36.4 million); which all seems to be an enormous effort for a piece of canvas simply painted with blue color.

but because i saw with my aged eyes that it was really, really beautiful. and i doubt, very much so, that i would EVER be so skilled to produce something as evenly, defined, intensively wonderful as this painting is.

to err is human. all we need to do is to admit it.

Yves Klein. Anthropométrie de l'époque bleue (1960) colour [youtu.be]
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Yves Klein Blue - About the Future (song) [yves]
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SEP - Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin (as a music video) [youtu.be]

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Agnes Felber 6 years, 4 months ago

I still say, the King Is Naked, contemplation of the sky or emptiness or immaterialization and all... it just shows how fallible people are to hype...

6 years, 4 months ago Edited
Roxanne 6 years, 4 months ago

oh this is a super post. i am a fan. gorgeous blue. and your experience is amazing with the realization of it all. love it!

6 years, 4 months ago Edited
Marilyn Grimble 6 years, 4 months ago

Your words made me think of this article which I think you may enjoy :
[url=http://www.city-journal.org/html/8_1_urbanities-trash.html]Trash, Violence and Varsace - But Is It Art?[/url]

6 years, 4 months ago Edited
Josy 6 years, 4 months ago

Well! Thanks to your professor and to your obstinacy to understand the underlying idea and to keep it intact after all these years...

6 years, 4 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil 6 years, 4 months ago

All depends on the observer, I think, and of his state of mind, and of his background and of ..........

6 years, 4 months ago Edited
Larry Sample 6 years, 4 months ago

Humans. feh

6 years, 4 months ago Edited
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