Born in Nice, Yves Klein
(French, 1928–1962) did not begin practicing art until he was 19, but was enormously productive before his early death. His initial efforts of monochrome canvases in different colors were abandoned for solely blue
works in 1957, with his show Proposition Monochrome; Blue Epoch
. Klein later patented his personally-developed blue pigment as “International Klein Blue”
(IKB); this, along with his use of sponges
, the human body, fire
, and gold
in his paintings, demonstrated his fascination with the media and method of art. Perhaps most famous for these works, Klein''s scandalous Anthropometries
featured the bodily imprints of nude models coated in IKB against large sheets of canvas.
He staged some Anthropometries
as public events, inviting a small audience to watch the models at work to the musical accompaniment of Klein''s Monotone Symphony
(a single twenty minute chord followed by twenty minutes of silence). Klein''s personal philosophies regarding space and the elements (wind, air, water, fire) also strongly influenced his work. His brief life ended during a third heart attack.