Search for over 80 million sold items in our price database

ANT 127
Sold
ANT 127
Sold

ANT 127

US
NY, US
US

About the item

Yves Klein (1928-1962)\nANT 127\nsigned and dated 'Yves Klein 1960' (on the reverse)\npigment on paper laid on canvas\n88½ x 57¼ in. (225 x 145 cm.)\nExecuted in 1960.
US
NY, US
US

notes

On the 9th March 1960 at the Galerie Internationale d'Art Comtemporain, Yves Klein presided over a soirée in which he introduced a new artform to the world: the Anthropometrie. Dressed with the utmost formality, with a bow tie and a medal, Klein held his audience's attention as he introduced a group of naked models while his Symphonie Monoton-Silence was intoned (and then not) in the background. These women were smeared with blue paint and directed with precision by Klein, they pressed themselves against vast sheets of paper, rolled around on and pulled each other across the floor, also covered with paper.

The idea of the Anthropometrie came to Klein while he was in his studio painting monochrome works in his patented IKB, or International Klein Blue. This was a color in which Klein saw infinity and the sublime, a blue with which Klein introduced windows of perfection into our world and aided the viewer to perceive of the wonders of the underlying spiritual force of the universe. It was the color of the sky, which Klein had years earlier claimed as his first work of art; it was the color of space and of boundlessness. It is ungraspable, and therefore all the more powerful as a presence within our all-too-graspable sensual and material world.

When Klein was creating his monochrome works in this infinite IKB, he invoked an air of sensuousness and of life-- all the better to invoke the spirit of the Immaterial and to capture it in the material world-- by engaging models to wander, naked, around the studio while he painted 'My models laughed more than a little when they saw how I created the exquisite blue monochrome, limited to one color, after their images! They laughed, but they felt more and more attracted to the blue. One day it was clear to me that my hands and tools were no longer sufficient to work with the color. I needed the model to paint the monochrome painting' (Klein, quoted in Yves Klein, ed. O. Berggruen, M. Hollein, I. Pfeiffer, exh.cat., Ostfildern-Ruit, 2004, p. 126).

By physically distancing himself from the artistic process, Klein became a catalyst rather than a protagonist, while the infinite world of the Blue was conjured into existence before him. Ant 127 clearly bears the traces of the model being dragged, but this was crucially done while Klein only looked: 'That was, finally, the solution to the problems of distance in painting: My brushes were alive and remote-controlled' (Klein, quoted in ibid., p. 126). Keeping this distance allowed the artwork to form itself, as the direct product of the marriage between his IKB and the living flesh of the model. And this distance had another simpler and more selfish advantage too:

'I stayed clean. I no longer dirtied myself with color, not even the tips of my fingers. The work finished itself there in front of me, under my direction, in absolute collaboration with the model. And I could salute its birth into the tangible world, in a dignified manner, dressed in a tuxedo' (Klein, quoted in S. Stich, Yves Klein, Ostfildern, 1994, p. 177).

This sense of formality added an ambience of solemnity and authority to the event, while also tapping into Klein's own interest in ritual. The women rolling on the mats were a strange reflection of the practice of judo, in which he was a black belt. The Anthropometries allowed Klein to marry this judo with his interest in the Immaterial. The ritual and formality of the occasion had a conspicuous theatricality about them, reflecting Klein's constant ability to publicise his art and the Blue Revolution; but more importantly, they reflected the dignity of the occasion.

Intriguingly, Klein's interest in the naked female form had become specific during the creation of the Anthropometries, it is not the complete body, but rather the headless and limbless torso that was the focus of his work, as is clear in Ant 127. For Klein, this emphasised the raw power of life. He has removed intellect from his pictorial equation, and instead has focussed on the necessity-driven, animal of the human body, 'It was the block of the body itself, that is to say the trunk and part of the thighs, that fascinated me. The hands, the arms, the head, the legs were of no importance. Only the body is alive, all-powerful, and non-thinking. The head, the arms, the hands are only intellectual articulations around the bulk of flesh that is the body!

'The heart beats without thought on our part; the mind cannot stop it. Digestion works without our intervention, be it emotional or intellectual. We breathe without reflection.

'True, the whole body is made of flesh, but the essential mass is the trunk and the thighs. It is there that we find the real universe, hidden by the universe of our limited perception' (Klein, quoted in Stich, op.cit., 1994, p. 175).

In Ant 127, this interest in the torso and its life force allows Klein to marry the Immaterial in the heady and sensual world of the material. Tumbling to the Earth, this blue figure is the infinite made flesh, the product of a wondrous reverse apotheosis. This Blue incarnate is therefore an extension of the almost invisible and mystical planes of existence that Klein believed co-existed with our own. Klein had long been interested in Rosicrucian conceptions of the world. One of the aspects that he particularly engaged with were the different spiritual and material planes, a gradation of interlinking dimensions ranging from the most material world in which we live, through to the divine and Immaterial. According to Rosicrucian thought, these levels exist inextricably attached to each other; in Ant 127, Klein has managed to summon a superior, Immaterial level of existence into being, an angelic blue form bursting into our world, filled with the raw and indefinable power of life itself. And at the same time, he implies that we all contain aspects of the sublime.

title

ANT 127

medium

Pigment on paper laid on canvas

signed

Signed and dated 'Yves Klein 1960' (on the reverse)

creator

Yves Klein

exhibited

Paris, Musée d'art moderne, Pasions privées, December 1995-March 1996, p. 446, no. 11 (illustrated).

Frankfurt, Schirn Kunsthalle and Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Yves Klein, September 2004-January 2005, pp. 137 and 139 (illustrated).

department

POST-WAR & CONTEMPORARY ART

dimensions

88½ x 57¼ in. (225 x 145 cm.)

literature

P. Wember, Yves Klein, Cologne, 1969, p. 113, no. ANT 127 (illustrated).

Yves Klein, exh. cat., L&M Arts, New York, 2005, p. 16, fig. 8 (illustrated in color).

provenance

Acquired by the present owner, mid 1960's


*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.

*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.

You may also like

Home Stretch Run

Home Stretch Run

Price
3,250 USD

Subway Riders

Subway Riders

Price
8,500 USD

Vaudville Tap Dancer

Vaudville Tap Dancer

Price
6,000 USD

Lulu

Lulu

Price
5,500 USD

The Rooster 1

The Rooster 1

Price
450 USD

The Rooster 2

The Rooster 2

Price
550 USD

Red Orchid

Red Orchid

Price
850 USD

Roman Nose

Roman Nose

Price
6,500 USD

Abstract Galaxy

Abstract Galaxy

Price
18,000 USD


Advert
Advert

Sold items

Anthropométrie "Le Buffle" (ANT 93)
Sold

Anthropométrie "Le Buffle" (ANT 93)

Realized Price
12,402,500 USD

Untitled Anthropometry, (ANT 5)
Sold

Untitled Anthropometry, (ANT 5)

Realized Price
8,992,154 USD

ANT 131
Sold

ANT 131

Realized Price
8,332,833 USD

Anthropométrie (ANT 5)
Sold

Anthropométrie (ANT 5)

Realized Price
6,627,446 USD

Untitled Anthropométrie (ANT 9)
Sold

Untitled Anthropométrie (ANT 9)

Realized Price
6,296,586 USD

La Marseillaise (ANT 138)
Withdrawn

La Marseillaise (ANT 138)

Realized Price
5,485,000 USD

ANT 2
Sold

ANT 2

Realized Price
4,541,969 USD

Ant su 27
Sold

Ant su 27

Realized Price
4,338,500 USD

Anthropométrie sans titre, (ANT 49)
Sold

Anthropométrie sans titre, (ANT 49)

Realized Price
3,469,000 USD

ANT 40
Sold

ANT 40

Realized Price
2,800,946 USD

ANT SU 14
Withdrawn

ANT SU 14

Realized Price
2,712,626 USD