Yves Klein Retrospective at Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Walker Art Center

. March 30, 2010

One of the 20th century’s most influential artists, Yves Klein (French, b. Nice, 1928; d. Paris, 1962), took the European art scene by storm in a prolific but brief career that lasted only from 1954 to 1962. “Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers,” on view at the Hirshhorn May 20 through Sept. 12, is the first major retrospective of the artist’s work in the United States since 1982. Co-curated by the Hirshhorn’s deputy director and chief curator Kerry Brougher and Dia Art Foundation director Philippe Vergne, former chief curator and deputy director at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the exhibition is co-organized by the Hirshhorn and the Walker and developed in full collaboration with the Yves Klein Archives in Paris.

Presenting approximately 200 works, “Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers” explores the full range of the artist’s body of work and offers an essential overview and examination of a career that marked a key transition in 20th-century art. His work embodied an understanding of art beyond a western conception of modernity, beyond the object and beyond traditional notions of what art can be.

“Klein’s short but intense career is a pivotal moment in contemporary art history,” said Brougher. “His work questioned what art and even society could be in the future, and it provided new pathways leading to pop art, minimalism, conceptual art, installation and performance.”

The exhibition features examples from all of Klein’s major series, from his iconic blue monochromes and Anthropometries to sponge reliefs, Fire Paintings, “air architecture” projects, Cosmogonies and planetary reliefs as well as many works that have rarely been on view. The installation provides insight into the artist’s process and conceptual endeavors through an array of ephemera, including sketches, photographs, letters and writings. Several films, including performances and documentaries, further demonstrate Klein’s creative practice.

About the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Smithsonian Institution’s museum of international modern and contemporary art, has nearly 12,000 paintings, sculptures, mixed-media installations, works on paper and new media works in its collection. The Hirshhorn presents diverse exhibitionss and offers an array of public programs that explore the art of our time. Located at Independence Avenue and Seventh Street S.W., the museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (except Dec. 25). Admission to the galleries and special programs is free. For more information about exhibitions and events, please visit hirshhorn.si.edu. To request accessibility services, please contact Kristy Maruca at marucak@si.edu or (202) 633-2796, preferably two weeks in advance.

About the Walker Art Center
The Walker Art Center is a catalyst for the creative expression of artists and the active engagement of audiences. Focusing on the visual, performing, and media arts of our time, the Walker takes a global, multidisciplinary and diverse approach to the creation, presentation, interpretation, collection and preservation of art. Walker programs examine the questions that shape and inspire us as individuals, cultures, and communities. For public information, call (612) 375-7600 or visit walkerart.org.

Category: Fine Art News

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