Five reasons not to miss Yves Klein’s monographic exhibition at BOZAR

With just under a month to catch the Yves Klein exhibition at BOZAR in Brussels, we dissect the quasi-retrospective in five essential points. Don’t sleep.

A deep dive into the works of French artist Yves Klein (1928-1962), best known for his unwavering use of a vivid blue pigment that came to bear his name: International Klein Blue. Despite his death at the early age of 34 due to a heart attack, the artist was a prolific force on the European artistic circuit, his practice encompassing everything from painting, sculpture and performance to theatre, music, film, architecture and even judo.

Untitled blue monochrome, (IKB 79) 1959, Paint on canvas on plywood 1397 x 1197 x 32 mm © Yves Klein, ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016.

A thorough look into Klein’s pioneering oeuvre, spanning over 30 works including a selection of rarely-seen films and photographs as well as his Fire Paintings; canvases the artist created with the use of a flame-thrower.

Untitled Fire painting, (F 101) 1961, Burned paper mounted on cardboard 625 x 520 mm © Yves Klein, ADAGP, Paris / DACS, London, 2016

A broad overview of an artist that turned the European world upside down with his monochromatic, pared-down and pure take on painting, giving much of his work an unparalleled sense of depth through his intent to achieve absolute immateriality and infinite space.

Untitled Pink Sponge-relief, (RE 44) c.1960; Dry pigment and synthetic resin, pebbles, natural sponges on panel 650 x 320 mm © Yves Klein, ADAGP, Paris / DACS, London, 2016

A fascinating insight into the world of an artist that pushed the boundaries of what was, at the time, understood and accepted as art. Indeed, above and beyond his most famous work, Klein distinguished himself by constant experimentation, as evidenced in his use of nude female models and even an orchestra to direct his movements for his oeuvres entitled Anthropometries.

Untitled Anthropometry, (ANT 84) 1960, Dry pigment and synthetic resin on paper mounted on canvas 1550 x 3590 mm © Yves Klein, ADAGP, Paris / DACS, London, 2016

A program of performances, running parallel to the exhibition and meant to add resonance to the artist’s innovative use of happenings and body art. Participating artists include Miet Warlop (BE), Pieter Van den Bosch (NL), Manuel Pelmus & Alexandra Pirici (RO), Marvin Gaye Chetwynd (GB), Ian Whittlesea (GB), Jan Fabre (BE), Andres Zins-Browne (US), Nick Steur (NL), Benjamin Vandewalle (BE).

Harry Shunk (1924-2006) & János Kender (1938–2009); Yves Klein’s “Leap Into the Void,” Fontenay-aux Roses, FR (October 23 1960); Artistic action by Yves Klein © Yves Klein, ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016. Collaboration Harry Shunk and János Kender © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2014.R.20)