Situated within a vast estate in Oxfordshire, Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has already played home to exhibitions by contemporary artists, including Jenny Holzer and Ai Wei Wei.
This summer, the 18th Century Baroque palace became a grandiose gallery space for the fifth time, with an exhibition organised in collaboration with the Yves Klein Archives.
Notorious for having developed his own trademark colour, the vivid ultramarine pigment became known as International Klein Blue (IKB).
Serving as an emblem of the artist’s entire career, this vibrant shade appeared almost electric, as it punctuated the ostentatious setting.
Klein’s work traversed numerous mediums as he sought to express his ideas through sculpture, painting and performance. The results of this highly experimental approach, contributed to instigating the subsequent movements of minimalism and conceptual art.
The modernity of an abstract canvas, full of energy, bounced off an otherwise archaic wall in the red drawing room.
Some of his most controversial work, the Anthropometry series transpired by Klein directing women to cover themselves in paint and use their bodies as ‘living brushes’, making marks on the canvas in front of an audience.
Blue Venus. Circa 1961
Among Klein’s most infamous works, Blue Venus – a female bust inspired by classical Greek sculpture, appeared luminescent against the 18th century tapestry backdrop.
Organic sponge sculptures interrupted the embellished panorama of the green drawing room. Once used by Klein as tools for painting, the sponges – saturated with IKB pigment, became sculptural artworks in their own right.
Yves Klein’s portraits of Claude Pascal hung in the long library – a colossal space housing over 10,000 antiquarian books.
For more information on the artist’s work visit the Yves Klein Archives.
Visit Blenheim Palace.