Yves Klein - Editions & Works on Paper New York Tuesday, October 19, 2021 | Phillips

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  • "Blue is the invisible becoming visible. Blue has no dimensions, it is beyond the dimensions of which other colours partake." —Yves KleinThe 20th century meets an ancient classic in La Vénus d'Alexandrie (Vénus bleue). This posthumous edition brings Yves Klein’s concept of a “blue revolution” to life by transforming the Greek sculpture, Venus de Milo, in the artist’s iconic International Yves Klein blue pigment. Emblematic of the Hellenistic period, the Venus de Milo has solidified itself as a hallmark of feminine beauty for thousands of years. While the Venus de Milo was the undeniable inspiration for this work, Klein took his own artistic liberties by only featuring the torso of the sculpture and making his plaster cast in the reverse orientation of the original marble sculpture.


    In May 1960, following several years of refining his blue pigment, Klein registered his International Yves Klein Blue (IKB) patent. With this, Klein was ready to start his “blue revolution” and in 1962 he began transforming everyday items and antique works from the Louvre by covering them in his newly patented IKB paint. His aim was for this series to “take over the world” and “make it more beautiful”. Being a multiple, these works were meant to spread Klein’s theories and messages around the world, acting as ambassadors to his monochrome world.

    After dying unexpectedly in 1962 at the age of 34, Klein’s widow Rotraut Klein-Moquay began working with Jan Runnqvist of Galerie Bonnier to bring some of his later designs and concepts to life following his premature death. Dedicated to upholding the integrity of Klein’s artistic vision, the estate of the artist worked tirelessly to replicate Klein’s techniques and utilize the same materials used in the original pieces. They even enlarged pictures of the artist working to determine the proper angle to spray the blue pigment on the plaster casts. Experts on his work collaborated closely with the CNRS (France’s National Center for Scientific Research) to recreate the IKB pigment for these posthumous editions.

    Produced in an edition of 300, La Vénus d'Alexandrie (Vénus bleue) was the second edition created after Klein’s death and was unveiled for the first time at the Chicago art fair in 1982.  Klein believed that this ultramarine blue captured immateriality and the infinite, and this Venus does exactly that by blurring the boundaries between time, space, and mortality.


    To read about the collection of Robin Quist Gates, please click below: https://www.phillips.com/article/77966206/the-gates-collection

    • Provenance

      Kent Fine Art Inc., New York

    • Literature

      Jean-Paul Ledeur S41
      Pierre Restany, Yves Klein, New York, 1982, p. 204
      Yves Klein, exh. cat., Oslo, 1997, p. 79, no. 66
      Nicolas Charlet, Yves Klein, Paris, 2000, p. 231
      Yves Klein, La Vie, la vie elle-même qui est l'art absolu, exh. cat., Nice, 2000-2001, p. 183

Property from the Collection of Robin Quist Gates


La Vénus d'Alexandrie (Vénus bleue)

International Klein Blue pigment and synthetic resin on plaster.
27 x 12 x 9 in. (68.6 x 30.5 x 22.9 cm)
Incised with artist's insignia and numbered 237/300 (slightly faded) on the lower leg, stamped and numbered on the underside (there were also 50 hors commerce), published by Editions Galerie Bonnier, Geneva.

Full Cataloguing

$80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for $163,800

Contact Specialist

212 940 1220


Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 19-21 October 2021