Art e-Facts 61

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The International Klein Blue (IKB) is a deep blue hue first mixed by the French artist Yves Klein.

International Klein Blue was developed by French artist Yves Klein as part of his search for colors which best represented the concepts he wished to convey as an artist. Although Klein had worked with blue extensively in his earlier career, it was not until 1958 that he used it as the central component of a piece (the color effectively becoming the art). Klein embarked on a series of monochromatic works using IKB as the central theme. These included performance art where Klein painted models’ naked bodies and had them walk, roll and sprawl upon blank canvases as well as more conventional single-color canvases.

The secret of IKB’s remarkable visual impact comes from its heavy reliance on Ultramarine, as well as Klein’s often thick and textured application of paint to canvas.

IKB was developed by Klein and chemists to have the same color brightness and intensity as dry pigments, which it achieves by suspending dry pigment in a clear synthetic resin. This new medium was patented by Klein.

International Klein Blue is outside the gamut of computer displays, and can therefore not be accurately portrayed on this page.

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