The Centre Pompidou-Metz presents an exhibition devoted to Yves Klein (1928-1962), a major figure on the post-war French and European art scene. «The sky as a Studio» reveals the aesthetic affinities he developed, outside the New Realists’ movement, with a constellation of artists, from the Gutai group in Japan to the spatial artists in Italy, from the ZERO artist group in Germany to the Nul group in the Netherlands. As a «painter of space», Yves Klein projected art into a new odyssey with them. The sky, the air, the void and the cosmos became the immaterial workshop for reinventing art and man’s relationship with the world after the tabula rasa brought about by the war. As early as 1946, Yves Klein associated his name to the other side of the sky, appropriating this infinite space as one of his canvases, while the spatial artists close to Lucio Fontana tried out making «artificial forms appear in the sky, spectacular rainbows». Piero Manzoni became committed to the search for a limitless space in which «matter becomes pure energy», which responds to Klein’s search for immaterial pictorial sensibility and to Otto Piene’s search for art as a sensory and regenerative medium for reconnecting man to the universe.
The new visual arts strategies developed aim to go beyond the materiality of the work of art, seen as an obstacle to freedom, and venture into the experience of monochromy, emptiness and light, in gestures where the work is, like Lucio Fontana’s lacerated or perforated canvases, open to infinity. This cosmogonic aspiration is shared by these artists who, in the tradition of Klein, combine water and fire, earth and air.
Artists present or exhibited:
Bernard Aubertin, Claude Bellegarde, Alberto Burri, Enrico Castellani, Constant, Dadamaino, Lucio Fontana, Hans Haacke, Hiroshi Hamaya, Oskar Holweck, Eikoh Hosoe, Fumio Kamei, Akira Kanayama, Kikuji Kawada, Yves Klein, Gyula Kosice, Yayoi Kusama, Liliane Ljin, Heinz Mack, Piero Manzoni, Sadamasa Motonaga, Saburo Murakami, Henk Peeters, Otto Piene, Giuseppe Pinot-Gallizio, Roberto Rossellini, Rotraut, Shozo Shimamoto, Fujiko Shiraga, Kazuo Shiraga, Takis, Jean Tinguely, Günther Uecker, Jef Verheyen, Lothar Wolleh, Gil J. Wolman.
Curators : Emma Lavigne, President of the Palais de Tokyo, in collaboration with Daniel Moquay, Director of the Yves Klein Archives