Daily Archives: May 22, 2010

Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers


Yves Klein:  With the Void, Full Powers

May 20, 2010 to September 12, 2010 

One of the last century’s most influential artists, Yves Klein (French, b. Nice, 1928; d. Paris, 1962) took the European art scene by storm in a prolific career that lasted only from 1954 to 1962, when he suffered a heart attack at the age of 34. Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers is the first major retrospective of the artist’s work in the United States in nearly 30 years. The exhibition will include examples from all of Klein’s major series, including his Anthropometries, Cosmogonies, fire paintings, planetary reliefs, and blue monochromes, as well as selections of his lesser-known gold and pink monochromes, body and sponge reliefs, “air architecture,” and immaterial works. The installation will also foreground the artist’s process and conceptual projects through a range of ephemera, including sketches, photographs, letters, and writings. 

Yves Klein created what he considered his first artwork when he signed the sky above Nice in 1947, making his earliest attempt to capture the immaterial. Klein was an innovator who embraced painting, sculpture, performance, photography, music, theater, film, architecture, and theoretical writing. Self-identified as “the painter of space,” he sought to achieve immaterial spirituality through pure color (primarily an ultramarine blue of his own invention—International Klein Blue). The artist’s diverse body of work represents a pivotal transition from modern art’s concern with the material object to contemporary notions of the conceptual nature of art and is informed by Klein’s study of the mystical sect Rosicrucianism, philosophical and poetic investigations of space and science, and the practice of Judo.

The exhibition is co-organized by the Hirshhorn and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and is co-curated by Hirshhorn deputy director and chief curator Kerry Brougher and Philippe Vergne, director of Dia Art Foundation.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Hirshhorn Museum on YouTube

View the Yves Klein social media material archive here

Yves Klein Archives

Previous Yves Klein entries

Having had rejected brushes as too excessively psychological already earlier, I painted with rollers, in order to remain anonymous and at a “distance” between the canvas and myself during the execution, at least intellectually.… Now, what a miracle, the brush returned, but this time it is alive: it was the flesh itself that applied the color to the canvas, under my direction, with a perfect precision, allowing me to remain constantly at an exact distance “x” from my canvas and thus continue to dominate my creation during the entire execution.

Excerpt from “Truth Becomes Reality,” in “Overcoming the Problematics of Art: The Writings of Yves Klein,” trans. Klaus Ottmann (Spring Publications, 2007), p. 186–87.


The creator must command his creation, keep it at a distance, in order to paint without touching the paint, the canvas, or the brush.
However, in order to maintain “continuity” between the creator and his creation, it is necessary to employ living intermediaries between the creator and his work. The tools of flesh, the nude models in the studio, are the new living brushes of the painter of today; these models must paint with their bodies only, i.e., the trunk and hips, nothing more. The hands and feet, the psychological parts of the body, should be used by the models merely for smearing paint of a chosen color onto their bodies. Which is obviously the color blue!”

Yves Klein [Trans. Klaus Ottmann]

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Walking On Eggshells: Borrowing Culture in the Remix Age

“Walking on Eggshells” is a 24-minute documentary about appropriation, creative influence, re-use and intellectual property in the remix age. It is a conversation among various musicians, visual artists, writers and lawyers, all sharing their views on why and how we use and create culture, and how intellectual property law, originally designed to provide people with incentives to create, sometimes hinders creative production far more than it enhances it.

This film is our final project for the seminar “Intellectual Property in the Digital Age” at Yale University.

Directed and Produced by:
Jacob Albert
Ryan Beauchamp
Brendan Schlagel

Interviews with (in order of appearance):
Eclectic Method
DJ Earworm (Jordan Roseman)
Joy Garnett
Michael Cunningham
Dudley Andrew
DJ Ripley (Larisa Mann)
Jonathan Lethem
E. Michael Harrington
Edgar Garcia

via Ariam Sahle 

If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.

~ Thomas Jefferson

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Artists Sketching in the White Mountains


Winslow Homer, Artists Sketching in the White Mountains, 1868, Portland Museum of Art, Bequest of Charles Shipman Payson

PORTLAND, ME.- On June 5, the Portland Museum of Art will debut a website of highlights from its Winslow Homer illustrations collection. This groundbreaking online gallery on the Museum’s website, http://www.portlandmuseum.org, will provide searchable and zoomable access to more than 250 of Homer’s wood engravings. Many of these works have never been seen by the public before.