Yves Klein (1928-1962) is preeminent Minimalist and Conceptual artist best known for his trademark color, International Klein Blue (IKB), which he patented shortly before his untimely death at thirty-four. In 1956, twenty monochrome paintings were shown for the first time at the exhibition, Yves: Propositions monochromes in Paris and Klein’s most important promoter, Pierre Restany, described these works as “single-colour proposals”. The following year, Klein held a second exhibition of eleven identical IKB paintings in Milan and due to immense success, the exhibition traveled to Paris, Düsseldorf, and London. Although his output of work was uniform in color, in technique it was not as Klein constantly sought innovative ways of applying pigment.
In the Anthropometry paintings, which are iconic examples of his work, Klein smeared the IKB pigment across the skin of nude women and then pressed their bodies against sheets of canvas. These Anthropometries were staged as small private events, and guests were invited to watch the models perform. Throughout his oeuvre, Klein has placed great importance the immediate experience the piece can convey to the viewer while also being inventive and mystical.