Blue Revolution

Blue is the invisible becoming visible. Blue has no dimensions, it is beyond the dimensions of which other colours partake.

Yves Klein.

 

The sky, the sea, a flame, the veins pulsing through our bodies; blue bears the intensity to arrest us all with its pervasiveness and depth. This month, AucArt’s sale pays homage to International Klein Blue (IKB) developed in the 1960s by artist Yves Klein alongside Edouard Adam, a Parisian colour vendor. IKB is reliant on the ultramarine pigment found from lapis lazuli, a mineral sourced from the mountains in northern Afghanistan. Few artists have dedicated themselves to the discovery of one colour, an intensely saturated velvety pigment, which Klein believed transversed past materiality.  

 

Klein consulted with chemists at Rhone-Poulenc to create a synthetic binder in which to suspend the pigment as binding it with oils dulled and darkened the shade he desired. It was first seen in 6th and 7th Century AD cave paintings in Afghanistani Zoroastrian and Buddhist temples. Famously, it is said to be more precious than gold. 

 

This pure ultramarine was born out of Klein’s desire to create a work of art undivided by line, freeing colour from the confines of form. As a result his monochromatic abstract works were born, through which he saw an “open window to freedom, the possibility of being immersed in the immeasurable existence of color.” For Klein the boundaries between art and life were blurred. He chose to express feeling over figurative form and advanced beyond typical ideas of artistic representation, seeing a work of art as a conversation between artist and the world.

 

He went as far as conceiving his life in its entirety as an artwork, stating that “Art is everywhere the artist goes”. The task of the artist to Klein therefore, was to unveil beauty wherever it can be found. He audaciously went on to declare, “The blue sky is my first artwork”.The colour itself is powerfully pigmented, radiating waves of colour drawing the viewer in. It is with this in mind that we have selected 55 artists from our roster, who explore the intensity of Yves Klein’s famous blue and pay homage to this electric colour.

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