Intimate Klein in Aix en Provence

Exhibitions | Cultural events | About art

Since his death from a heart attack at the age of 32 in 1962, the myth surrounding Klein’s work has continued to grow and he is particularly remembered for his Klein Blue series of monochromes, anthropometries, sculptures and even sponges! The exhibition at the Hôtel de Caumont, contrary to most events on the artist’s work, focuses on highlighting the links between his life and personality to the eight years of prolific and flamboyant work he produced. The painting marking the beginning of the exhibition is a large monochrome pierced by two large holes – an invitation to challenge conventional thinking!

Klein’s career was quite uncommon as he initially intended to enter the merchant navy, but ended up teaching Judo for a while before realising he possessed a rather radical creative streak. And he was not alone, with Nice friends Claude Pascal, Arman and Martial Raysse from the local Judo club, alongside the Nouveaux Réalistes led by Pierre Restany, plus Iris Clert, the Parisian gallery owner where he exhibited the now famous “Void”, Fontana and other artists met in Milan. His career is characterised by trace and immanence - Trace as a tangible witness of what existed and immancence in absolute presence. He invented anthropometries using the wind, fire, the contact of painted bodies on blank canvas and even “recorded” rainfall on the roof of a moving car! 

He exalted the saturation of his bright blue and gold leaf monochromes to a point creating a vibrant presence, which is practically spiritual. The exhibition covers all the fundamental questions Klein asked himself about the essence of Art at a crucial time in the role and effect of Art in society, through a personal and initimate dimension.