Haus Esters, Yves Klein ´White room´

Monica wearing

„Big Dot“ Skirt Outfit

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The intervention entitled Yves Klein – Le Vide uses a radical logic to draw attention to Yves Klein’s Le Vide, the empty space in the Museum Haus Lange.

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When Yves Klein (b. 1928 in Nice, d. 1962 in Paris) created this zone of emptiness in the Museum Haus Lange in 1961, in the room where the Lange family organ used to stand, the rest of the building was lavishly filled: Klein had distributed his earlier works in all the other rooms on the ground floor of the villa and even out into the garden.

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Yves Klein – Monochrome and Fire was the title of the exhibition (14 January to 26 February 1961), the first and last museum retrospective of the artist’s work during his lifetime.

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In a letter dated 3 February 1960, Paul Wember, then director of the museum, asked Klein if he would like to present his work in Krefeld. The exhibition was to follow a show on another Frenchman, Jean Tinguely. Klein and Tinguely had been friends for a long time and had founded the group Nouveaux Réalistes (New Realists) in 1960, together with Arman, Dufrêne, Hains and others. Their common intention was to use real objects and everyday materials as a starting point for artistic work.

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Yves Klein worked with a very wide range of ordinary or ‚elemental‘ resources: he used untreated pigments and gold leaf; instead of a paintbrush, he used paint rollers, scrapers and women’s bodies to create his paintings; sponges became colour objects for him; actions, paintings and sculptures were created with fire, air and water. In this way, he negated his own signature and resisted the romantic notion of the artist-genius. Nevertheless, his coloured monochromes became icons of 20th-century painting.

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