Fifty years ago, in June and December 1959, French artist Yves Klein defined the Zone of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility.
Klein sold several versions of this immaterial (invisible) pictorial sensibility to collectors, the initial price:
A kilo of gold, a one-kilo ingot of pure gold will do… because you can’t set a cash price on raw pictorial sensibility… Shelley said that ‘the blood of sensibility is blue,’ and that’s exactly what I think. The price of blue blood can never be paid in cash, it has to be gold.
When Klein sold a Zone of Immaterial Sensibility to a collector they held a transfer ceremony at some body of water (the image below is at the river Seine in Paris) The collector gave Klein a number of gold ingots, Klein threw half in the water and gave the collector a receipt which the collector then burned to complete the transfer of the Zone of Immateriality.
I’m not quite certain how this performance would manifest by VB in SL, but considering how many of our works contain aspects of immateriality, and how fond I have always been of Klein’s entire oeuvre, it would be exceptionally gratifying for us to bring Klein’s work back to life, a half century later.
A flashmob might be a suitable milieu for this work.
I should note that the very first image, at the top of this post, while very much from Klein’s oeuvre, is, in fact, not from his Zone of Immaterial Sensibility work per se…
Although he was a judo master and could fly, Klein also seems to have had, in some ways, a somewhat weak constitution. In November, 1961, Klein and Rotraut made a secret retreat to Santa Rita at Cascia in Italy.
18 years later an earthquake followed by violent storms damaged the basilica of Santa Rita and during the restoration a worker asked the nuns for gold leaf to use in the restoration of the dome.
They gave him an acrylic box containing gold leaf. Instead of smashing it and using the materials, he said — Ah ha! This is no ordinary box of gold leaf, it is obviously an unknown, yet authentic, Yves Klein original.
There can’t be many places in this world where a worker would be sufficiently immersed in culture to make that kind of inductive leap.
We have an exceptionally unique artwork, by an exceptionally unique artist, because of it.
Yves & Rotraut were married at the church of Saint-Nicolas-des-Champs in Paris on 21 January 1962. On 6 June 1962, Klein suffered a fatal heart attack and died a few feet from his wife. He was 34. On 6 August Rotraut gave birth to their son, Yves.