Yves Klein stunned the art world with his monochromatic pieces at the nexus of minimalism and performance art, where his signature International Klein Blue was not an adjective but a noun. Using nude models as brushes, Klein swapped subject matter and medium, furthering Jackson Pollock's liberation of painting from tradition. 'Fire and Color 1' is considered to be the most important of Klein's works ever to go to auction. The masterpiece is expected to sell for between $30-$40 million at auction next week.
Klein's seven year career was cut short by his untimely death, making his time as an artist an ethereal flash similar to the works he created. The iconic piece 'FC 1' is a prime example of Klein's "dangerous paintings," in which Klein painted with a hose of blazing fire, putting himself and his models at risk. It was executed in 1962, the year Klein died. The piece, like fire itself, captures the convergence of the material and immaterial, as shadows and painted bodies brush up against the ignited canvas. In honor of the auction, award-winning filmmaker Laurent Chanez has created a video capturing the making of the work along with a mesmerizing interpretation of Klein's vision, referencing everything from cave paintings to the ghostly aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
"FC 1" will sell at Christie's Post-War and Contemporary sale in New York on May 8, 2012. Watch the stunning video above and see some behind the scenes photographs of the piece below.
Would you drop $30 mil for some authentic Klein blue? Or would you be content to stick with cerulean?