With the Void, Full Powers. The exhibition showcasing the prolific but brief career (1954-1962) of one of the 20th century's most influential artists. Through some 200 works, the show explores the full range of the his practice and offers an essential examination of a pivotal moment in contemporary art history. Featuring examples from all of Klein's major series the installation also provides insight into his conceptual endeavors through an array of sketches, photographs, letters, and writings.
The critically acclaimed exhibition Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers makes its final stop at the Walker Art Center, October 23, 2010–February 13, 2011, following its premiere at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC. Showcasing the prolific but brief career (1954–1962) of one of the 20th century's most influential artists, this major U.S. retrospective—Klein's first since 1982—was co-organized by the Walker and the Hirshhorn, and co-curated by Dia Art Foundation director Philippe Vergne, formerly chief curator and deputy director at the Walker, and the Hirshhorn's deputy director and chief curator Kerry Brougher.
Through some 200 works, the exhibition explores the full range of the artist's practice and offers an essential examination of a pivotal moment in contemporary art history. Featuring examples from all of Klein's major series—from his iconic blue monochromes and Anthropometries to his sponge reliefs, fire paintings, "air architecture" projects, Cosmogonies, and planetary reliefs—the installation also provides insight into Klein's conceptual endeavors through an array of sketches, photographs, letters, and writings. Several films, which document his working methods, further demonstrate the radical nature of his interdisciplinary practice. Many objects on view are on loan directly from the Yves Klein Archives, which was a full collaborator in developing the exhibition.
From his experiments with immaterial architecture to his leap into the void, Klein defied common notions of art and aimed to rethink the world in spiritual and aesthetic terms. Self-identified as "the painter of space," he sought to achieve immaterial sensibility through pure color, primarily an ultramarine pigment he called International Klein Blue (IKB). With a special focus on Klein's conceptual and performative projects, this presentation of his œuvre marks a key moment in the shift from modern to contemporary artistic practice and reveals the full extent of the artist's influence.
École de Klein
In conjunction with the exhibition, the Walker Art Center presents École de Klein, a curriculum exploring the artist's curiosities, life, and work through a series of lectures, gallery talks, art labs, film, poetry, dance, and experimental moments. Blue screams, judo demonstrations, pigment-invention, monochrome-making, and conversations/tours in French bring visitors closer to this multifaceted and revolutionary thinker. All participants receive an École de Klein notebook.
A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition, containing critical essays by curators Vergne and Brougher, Klein scholar Klaus Ottmann, art historian Kaira Cabañas, and curator Andria Hickey. The book also includes archival materials and translations of Klein's published and unpublished writings. Distributed by D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. ISBN 978-0-935640-94-6.
Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers is co-organized by the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
The exhibition is made possible with generous support from Martha and Bruce Atwater, Judy Dayton, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional support provided by Constance R. Caplan and Lewis and Barbara Shrensky. Major support for the catalogue is provided by Sotheby's, with additional support from L & M Arts in New York and Heather James Fine Arts.
The Walker Art Center's presentation is sponsored by RBC Wealth Management.
Additional generous support for the Walker Art Center's presentation is provided by Lisa and Pat Denzer, the Martin and Brown Foundation, Dr. William W. and Nadine M. McGuire, Donna and Jim Pohlad, the Shank Family Foundation, and John L. Thomson. Media partner Mpls.St.Paul Magazine.
Image: People Begin to Fly, 1961. Oil on paper on canvas 98-1/2 x 156-1/2 in.
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