Biography of Yves Klein (1928-1962)

French artist, born in Nice on April 28, 1928 and died of a heart in Paris attack, on June 6, 1962, which was one of the founders of the new realism and forerunner of different tendencies of contemporary art

Painters parents, toward 1944 begins to experiment with pure colors initiating all your adventure monochrome, for which the name of Yves adopotara, sometimes signing his works as Yves Klein the monochrome. In 1947 he/she made the first Monotypes of his own hands and feet printed on their shirts. In 1952-1953 he/she traveled to Japan and exhibits his paintings monochromes in Tokyo. In 1955 he/she returned to Paris where he/she lives until his death.

In 1959 he/she sends one of his paintings to be admitted in the lounge of the new realities; the picture is accepted provided that it is refined and add you some elements (line, shape, color); Yves Klein refuses. In that same year he/she met Pierre Restany, who became the critic and creator of the new realism. In 1957 Restany makes the first public presentation of the blue monochrome works in the Gallery Apollinaire in Milan; the exhibition is entitled Blue era and consists of eleven monochrome panels of the same size and color: ultramarine blue which just becoming International Klein Blue. In that same year performs the first aerostatic sculptures, releasing a blue balloons in the sky over Saint-German-des-Pres. In 1958, home of Robert Godet, Klein first experiences with the technique of the brushstroke alive, i.e., a nude model, daubed blue paint, crawling over a white canvas on the ground. In 1959 he/she participated in the first biennial of Paris with a large monochrome facility; It is in the context of this exhibition where arise the first discussions between Klein, Restany and Tinguely that would lead them to the formation of the Group of Neo-realism.

In 1960 he/she presents to the public for the first time its Anthropometriers de l' époque Bleue in Galerie Internationale of Paris, exposed human footprints on sheets of paper arranged on the floor and walls of the gallery. In that same year he/she participated in the Les Nouveaux Réalistes exhibition at the Gallery Apollinaire in Milan, together with Arman, Dufrêne and Tinguely. Restany writes for the occasion of the new realism manifesto. Performs the first cosmogonies, pictures created with the help of atmospheric elements (wind, rain, storm). Thereafter it constantly participates in individual and group exhibitions in Europe and the United States.


ARNASON, H.H.: History of Modern Art, (New York, Abrams, 1986).

RESTANY, Pierre: Yves Klein, (New York, Abrams, 1982).