Monochrome duality

By Alize Morand

10 February, 2009

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Art


I have always been quite fascinated by Yves Klein’s work. Not only do I adore his blue, but also his techniques, and just the whole concept of creating a colour – a concept I myself experimented with much less result in the (very) early days of my discovery of painting at the age of 7.

I have spent countless hours admiring his blue monochromes (see picture on the right) at Paris Centre Pompidou and other galleries, referencing him in art classes, and dressing in IKB cardigans.

Now what a shock for me to discover this painting of Miró (see picture on the left) in the book of the exhibition of Surrealists at the Royal Academy of Art! Isn’t it exactly the same idea? And when Miró painted this picture (1925), Klein was not even born yet (1929)!

Now does that ruin my illusions about Klein’s creativity? Yes, a little. But I still love and admire his work.

Don’t you sometimes feel the same about a fashion label or a collection? A undeniable feeling of déjà-vu but still so well re-interpreted, so timeless, so beautiful that never mind originality, when you have talent and savoir-faire!

Paintings: Oils on canvas. Left: Bleu (1925) Joan Miró. Right: Bleu Monochrome (1929) Yves Klein.

10 Responses to “Monochrome duality”

  1. Niceeeeee 🙂

    I tried to figure out which Pantone colour Klein Blue (IKB) is however it seams there is not Pantone for IKB. It’s a patented colour, an approximation is Pantone 286 mixed with Reflex Blue.

    I wish to see these two painting side by side for real!

  2. I agree! Savoir-faire in itself is a talent to be admired. After all, being able to re-interpret something in your own way and by your own expertise is definitely a talent in my books. But I guess the line between blind flattery and creative re-interpretation is actually a very thin one.

    On a random note, if I didn’t live in such an Asian country, I’d definitely want to call my son, Yves. It’s second to Etienne though. 😉 That’s still my favourite french name. ❤

  3. J’aime beaucoup les tableaux de Jacques Monory, qui utilisait le même type de bleu, mais dans un style plus proche du pop art… “comment vous dire tout est bleu, çà passe par l’azur de tes… @ +++

  4. Le bleu klein est absolument unique. Il est étonnant à quel point il se reconnait au moindre coup d’oeil.

  5. gtruc: Yes I knew it was a patented colour, hence the name IKB (International Klein Blue) but thanks for your research about the Pantone! We have a colour scientist here! 😉 x
    Hui: You are so right! Unfortunately this thin line you’re talking about is very often crossed I reckon, but for those who don’t, it’s evolution! Sometimes the pupil becomes the master! Love your brainstorm about French names haha! x
    PJ: Jacques Monory’s work is really interesting although no monochrome. haha song reference! x
    Little Style Box: This blue is so special indeed, you can’t mistake it for another one! x

  6. i adore your posts! i always learn something knew from your little articles =]. so thank you!

    La C.

  7. La C.: Thanks so much Sweetie! I’m glad my articles are informative, it’s nice to read blogs, but even nicer if you can learn things too that way! x

  8. I saw a Klein painting last week-end ! 🙂 I didn’t know that I also worked on how light behave. So nice to me!

  9. Groovounet: I know, Klein is a genius! I think Soulages is the artist who worked most with light on monochromes (his were black) but Klein did too! And before Soulages for that matter! 🙂 He got the idea of blue monochrome from Miro, but was also an inspiration for others! x

  10. […] as coining a neologism to define his work: outrenoir, for beyond-black, a concept that reminds of Klein’s experiments for the deepest blue. ‘Outrenoir to signify, beyond black, a light reflected and transmuted by black. Outrenoir: a […]

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