Yves Klein, French, 1928 - 1962
Untitled Monogold (MG 7), ca. 1960
Gold leaf on plywood
78 ½ × 60 ¼ × ¾ in. (199.4 × 153 × 1.9 cm)
1982-61 DJ

© Succession Yves Klein c/o Adagp, Paris / ARS, New York
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Yves Klein had no formal training as a painter but was a serious student of judo and the esoteric spiritual discipline Rosicrucianism. He pursued a radically philosophical rather than material goal, seeking to discover the absolute through the investigation of pure color. Fasci­nated with myth, legend, and ritual, Klein lived his life almost as an artwork in itself. He began to produce monochromes in 1954, eventually restricting himself to three colors: blue, pink, and gold. This untitled Monogold is a shallow relief created from plywood, sanded to produce inden­tations of varying sizes and depths, and covered with gold leaf; it was then burnished, creating a highly reflective surface. Klein brought forth gold’s formal and symbolic properties—expensive, fragile, radiant, sacred—in an object that appears simultaneously archaic and ultramodern.


Clare Elliott