ANT 104, Anthropométrie sans titre

  • 1960
  • Yves Klein
  • Dry pigment in synthetic resin on paper (mounted on canvas)
  • 278 x 410 cm

While musicians performed Symphonie monoton-silence, composed by the artist, naked female models covered themselves in Klein's iconic blue (IKB) before being directed by the artist to a surface they painted using their bodies, creating Anthropométries. The term Anthropométrie was used by art critic Pierre Restany in the 1960s.
Klein considered these paintings to be an active collaboration between himself and the models. He used nudity to “stabilise the pictorial material”. He observed particular ceremonial rules, wearing a tuxedo and white gloves while directing the models to show that he wasn’t touching them. In ANT 104, the imprints overlap, making it impossible to distinguish the bodies. The paintings are both a performance and an echo of gestural abstraction, exploring the relationship between painting and body, space and colour.

© Succession Yves Klein c/o Adagp, Paris, 2018. Photo © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage


Yves Klein

Yves Klein was driven by a quest for the immaterial and totally disrupted the relationship between painting and the body, space and colour. A particularly intense ultramarine blue, which Klein named IKB (International Klein Blue) became a hallmark of his work.

Born into a family of painters, Klein developed an extensive body of work in the space of a few years, while practising judo and researching the cosmogony of the Rosicrucians. His first show in 1955 featured monochrome canvases in different colours. In 1957, Klein established the key elements of his artistic vocabulary, with monochrome, air, fire and water playing a central role, and presented 11 monochromes in Milan. The following year, his exhibition Le Vide (“The Void”) at the Iris Clert Gallery demonstrated his conception of art as a “pictorial sensibility”, in which he promoted the dematerialisation of the work. Although he was associated with the manifesto of Pierre Restany’s Nouveau Réalisme group (1960), he worked independently. His spatial preoccupations are embodied in the Anthropométries of his blue era, when he used female models as living brushes during performances.

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