In February 1956, Yves Klein exhibited a series of monochromatic paintings at the Colette Allendy Gallery in Paris. He had started to paint monochromes in 1949 and declared “I painted some monochrome surfaces just to 'see’ with my own eyes what existential sensibility granted me; absolute freedom! But each time I could neither imagine or think of the possibility of considering this as a painting, a picture, until the day when I said: Why not?”
Public responses to his show, which displayed orange, yellow, red, pink and blue monochromes, deeply disappointed Klein, as people went from painting to painting, linking them together as a sort of mosaic. Shocked at this misunderstanding, Klein knew a further and decisive step in the direction of monochrome art would have to be taken...For his next show, he would concentrate on one single, primary color alone: blue which will become known as International Klein Blue.
The art critic Pierre Restany a strong supporter of Klein wrote the invitation of the exhibition which started with “To all those intoxicated by the machine and the city, frenzied by rhythm or masturbated by reality, YVES offers a highly rewarding cure of asthenic silence”.
Sources: Yves Klein, 1928 – 1962, Selected Writings, ed. J & J, the Tate Gallery, London 1974
Yves loves Monopink, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 40" x 30" (102 x 76 cm)