Monochrome bleu (IKB 89)
Synthetic resin, pigment on canvas
92 x 73 cm
Inv. no. 3020
Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen
1928, Nice (FR) – 1962, Paris (FR)
The work Monochrome bleu (1959) exemplifies Yves Klein’s preoccupation with the immaterial effects of color and how they radiate into the surrounding space. In particular, the luminous ultramarine blue preferred by Yves Klein—which he himself termed the International Klein Blue (IKB) in the work’s title—allows the color pigments to clearly unfold, suggesting infinite depth with their velvety matte texture. The color affords an immersive visual experience akin to diving into an abstract blue pictorial space, which can also be associated with sky or water.
Museum Morsbroich was the first German museum to reflect on the exploration of monochrome painting in contemporary art at the beginning of the 1960s with the now legendary exhibition Monochrome Malerei(Monochrome Painting) organized under the direction of Udo Kultermann in 1960. More than 30 artists from a wide range of countries exhibited together, highlighting a new trend within contemporary art that liberated itself from traditional pictorial means like composition and content and instead focused on the effects of color, light, and space.