Artwork of the Week – Yves Klein


Liverpool artwork of the week 2010-07. ‘IKB 79 ‘ 1959 by Yves Klein in ‘This is Sculpture: The Sculpture of Language’ at Tate Liverpool until April 2012

The sculpture exhibition at Tate Liverpool is a great show for dipping into from time to time, it’s good to focus on one area rather than trying to take in the whole two floors in one session. I had forgotten that this was in it and I’m not quite sure why it is as it’s not something one would normally describe as scultpure. I do love it though, blue is supposed to be a cold colour but I find this uplifting. Not this small blue rectangle on the screen but when standing in front of the actual large painting in the gallery.

Paint on canvas on wood
object: 1397 x 1197 x 32 mm

Purchased 1972

In 1947, Klein began making monochrome paintings, which he associated with freedom from ideas of representation or personal expression. A decade later, he developed his trademark, patented colour, International Klein Blue (IKB). This colour, he believed, had a quality close to pure space, and he associated it with immaterial values beyond what can be seen or touched. He described it as ‘a Blue in itself, disengaged from all functional justification’. Klein made around 200 monochrome paintings using IKB. He did not give titles to these works but, after his death, his widow assigned a number to each one.
(From the display caption November 2005)