Constantly redefined, expanded, critiqued and debated, the question ‘what is art’ remains at the heart of artistic discourse. From Marcel Duchamp’s urinal to Tracey Emin’s unmade bed, artists have continually sought to push the boundaries of what is considered as ‘art’. In the late 1950s, Yves Klein’s monochrome abstractions challenged the assumptions of what a painting could be.
There is no trace of Klein’s hand here, no brushstrokes or markings, no image. Instead he has created a portal to another world using his signature patented pigment, International Klein Blue. An endless blue realm transports the viewer into an immaterial, infinite dimension.
To see more of Yves Klein’s brilliantly radical work (he also used women as paint brushes…) visit his retrospective currently on at Tate Liverpool.
Words by Annabel Matterson. The Iris Letter February 2017.