Artist
Yves Klein
French artist

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Yves Klein
French artist

Birth Date

1928

Death Date

1962

Sr. Editor

Yves Klein was born in Nice from parents who were also artists.

Klein became interested in the conceptual rigor and symbolic resonance great art can have.

He travelled the world at a young age and discovered a love for judo in Japan. His love for the martial art was so great that he earned a 4th degree black belt at the tender age of 25.

Klein’s output varied in medium. He wrote a symphony that held one chord for 20 minutes, which was followed by 20 minutes of silence; he invented a color (International Klein Blue), and once sold empty spaces in Paris for gold.

He’s associated with the art movement called Nouveau Réalisme, or New Realism for us Yanks. Apparently the old realism was not real enough. Neither movement should be confused with 'keeping it real', which is something Dave Chapelle popularized in the US in the late 2000's.

Klein suffered a heart attack watching a movie he acted in while at the Cannes film festival and died shortly after. He was only 34 and did not live to see the birth of his son, who also became an artist and who specializes in creating robotic sculptures.

His son wasn’t his only legacy, as contemporary artists and critics still find his work engaging and significant. There’s even a rock band in Australia called Yves Klein Blue.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Yves Klein

Yves Klein (French pronunciation: ​[iv klɛ̃]; 28 April 1928 – 6 June 1962) was a French artist and an important figure in post-war European art. He was a leading member of the French artistic movement of Nouveau réalisme founded in 1960 by art critic Pierre Restany. Klein was a pioneer in the development of performance art, and is seen as an inspiration to and as a forerunner of minimal art, as well as pop art.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Yves Klein.