Search for over 80 million sold items in our price database

Untitled Anthropométrie (ANT 9)
Sold

About the item

With a charismatically mesmerising ultramarine presence, substantiated with the iconic pigment of its creator, Yves Klein, Untitled Anthropométrie (ANT 9) is a paradigmatic example of a seminal series which broke apart the definition of painting, radicalised the enduring art historical motif of the nude, and laid sensational foundations that would inform performance art to the present day. With a dynamic impression of a female torso articulated at its centre, which gives way to waves of effervescent blue mist, this infinitely entrancing piece stands as one of the finest examples of Klein’s decisive Anthropométries. It was at the Galerie d'Art Contemporain in the Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris, on the 9th March 1960 that Yves Klein orchestrated his ground-breaking happening, which is now legendary within the history of the European Avant-garde. In front of a select crowd of critics and gallery patrons, the artist – immaculately dressed in a tuxedo and adorned with the Maltese Cross of his Saint Sebastian brotherhood – conducted a performance whereby pigment-smeared models dragged and draped themselves along a paper-lined floor to create tactile movement paintings. As Klein noted: “My models were my brushes. I made them smear themselves with colour and imprint themselves on canvas" (Yves Klein, 'Le Vrai Devient Réalité', cited in: Exhibition Catalogue, London, Hayward Gallery, Yves Klein: Leap into the Void, 1995, p. 171). Executed as though a formal ritual, the occasion had a conspicuous air of theatricality that is entirely consonant with Klein's assiduous promotion of his art and the Blue Revolution. \nCreated in the radical year of 1960 and marked as one of the very first Anthropométries, this work stands out as a captivatingly enigmatic, yet harmoniously balanced archetype. Untitled Anthropométrie (ANT 9) embodies crucial concerns from the artist's most exploratory period. In the present work, a life-sized anonymous nude stands with arms raised forming a silhouette with expansive lines that lead out of the picture frame, instating an inherent sense of movement, true to its point of conception as a performative act.\nThe present piece exemplifies the strong compositional preferences that Klein built during his radical turn to the figure, having made his boldest steps with his supreme IKB Monochromes previously. Here the body is cropped to concentrate on what Klein regarded as the 'essential mass'. The artist remarked:  “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” (Yves Klein quoted in: Exhibition Catalogue, London, Hayward Gallery, (and travelling), Yves Klein, 1994, p. 175). As a statuesque figure with a focus on the body’s sensual and powerful core, the work evokes the enduring monumentality of a classical figure and the ancient conceptions of beauty embodied most perfectly in the Venus de Milo; a goddess whose voluptuous figure formed boundless inspiration for the history of art that followed her.\nIn Untitled Anthropométrie (ANT 9), Klein’s compositional insistence on the solid upward linearity of the central form takes centre stage. Constructed as though a cross section, which emphasises one straight planar view of the body, in the present work the model’s lithe figure recalls the classicising treatment that Ingres applied to his Baigneuse Valpincon, 1808. For Ingres, the interaction between the nude form and the great swathes of fabric stands as a crucial framing device most logically explored in the theme of the bather. Impressionist and Modern masters such as Edgar Degas revisited the bathing nude at the close of the Nineteenth Century, later providing inspiration for Pablo Picasso whose blue Femme à la Toilette, 1901, makes an emotionally delicate forerunner to the present work.\nBathing as though in cosmic splendour, the woman’s curvaceous figure is formed of dabs and residual traces of vivid pigment, which serve as an arresting record of the physical and temporal journey of Untitled Anthropométrie (ANT 9)’s creation. The piece testifies to a profoundly captivating combination of techniques which guided much of his exploration through this series. The inner core of the nymphean figure is composed from Klein’s famed interaction between paper and the primed nude body, which was lavishly painted with his iconic shade of International Klein Blue. Adding to the rarity of the present work, here we also find a masterfully articulated counter impression, in which the shape of the central torso is heightened by the use of spray paint across both body and ground. This process leaves a ghostly silhouette, a glow that records the explosion of the human form’s purest sense of energy onto the raw paper surface.\nTwo forms of impression – addition and subtraction – coexist in a symphonically ecstatic state of celestial harmony. At once alluring and elusive these intrinsic paradoxes of form endow Untitled Anthropométrie (ANT 9) with a distinct aura in line with Klein’s intentions to access the eternal, the spiritual and the elements of perception ordinarily beyond reach.
GB
GB
GB

medium

Dry pigment in synthetic resin on paper laid down on canvas

creator

Yves Klein

condition

Colour: The colours in the catalogue illustration are fairly accurate, although the overall tonality is brighter and more vibrant in the original and fails to convey the shimmering quality of the surface. Condition: This work is in very good condition. Very close inspection reveals very slight draw to all four corners. There is a minute and unobtrusive paper loss to the bottom right hand corner, which appears to be original. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

dimensions

76 by 54cm.; 29 7/8 by 21 1/4 in.

literature

Paul Wember, Yves Klein: Catalogue Raisonné, Cologne 1969, p. 136, no. ANT 9, illustrated  

provenance

Private Collection, Paris (acquired directly from the artist in 1960) Private Collection Acquired directly from the above by the present owner

creator_nationality_dates

1928 - 1962


*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.


Advert
Advert

Sold items

Untitled
Sold

Untitled

Realized Price
110,487,500 USD

Untitled (New York City)
Sold

Untitled (New York City)

Realized Price
70,530,000 USD

Untitled
Sold

Untitled

Realized Price
69,605,000 USD

Untitled XXV
Sold

Untitled XXV

Realized Price
66,327,500 USD

Untitled
Sold

Untitled

Realized Price
66,245,000 USD

Jean-Michel Basquiat - Untitled
Sold

Jean-Michel Basquiat - Untitled

Realized Price
57,285,000 USD

Untitled (Yellow and Blue)
Sold

Untitled (Yellow and Blue)

Realized Price
46,450,000 USD

Cy Twombly (1928-2011) Untitled
Sold

Cy Twombly (1928-2011) Untitled

Realized Price
46,437,500 USD

No. 11 (Untitled)
Sold

No. 11 (Untitled)

Realized Price
46,085,000 USD

Untitled
Sold

Untitled

Realized Price
42,725,000 USD

Untitled
Sold

Untitled

Realized Price
40,402,500 USD