Yves Klein - Evening & Day Editions London Wednesday, September 14, 2022 | 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 Klein

    In May 1960, following several years of refining his blue pigment, Klein registered his International Klein Blue (IKB) patent. In doing so, Klein aimed for a “Blue Revolution” – a new aesthetic vision in which he would transform the world around him with the application of his patented IKB paint. Through his artistic practice, Klein aspired to “take over the world” and “make it more beautiful.”


    Heritage Image Parternship Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
    Statue of Aphrodite (Venus), Graeco-Roman, 3rd – 2nd BC, Graeco-Roman Museum, Alexandria, Egypt. Image: Heritage Image Partnership Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo.

    In La Vénus d'Alexandrie (Vénus bleue), Klein transforms the archetypal classical beauty – the Venus d’Alexandrie - into a twentieth century equivalent through the application of his ultramarine blue pigment. With harmonic and perfected proportions, classical sculptures like the Venus d’Alexandrie have been heralded as the epitome of feminine beauty for centuries. Just like the Venus’s form symbolises idealised and eternal beauty, Klein believed that the ethereal qualities of his blue paint captured the infinite. Klein’s Venus, cloaked in blue, now transcends time, space, and mortality. 


    Following Klein’s premature death in 1962, aged just 34, Klein’s widow Rotraut Klein-Moquay began working with Jan Runnqvist of Galerie Bonnier to bring some of his unrealised designs and concepts to life. Dedicated to upholding the integrity of Klein’s artistic vision, the artist’s estate worked tirelessly to replicate Klein’s techniques and desired mediums. Conceived as a multiple, La Vénus d'Alexandrie (Vénus bleue) helps disseminate Klein’s theories and messages around the world.

    • Provenance

      Kent Fine Art Inc., New York
      Collection of Robin Quist Gates, Woodside, California

    • 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


La Vénus d'Alexandrie (Vénus bleue) (L. S41)

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

Full Cataloguing

£60,000 - 80,000 Ω♠

Sold for £81,900

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Rebecca Tooby-Desmond
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Robert Kennan
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Anne Schneider-Wilson
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Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 14 - 15 September 2022