Yves Klein

Boulder, birch bark, copper tubing assembled with stainless steel screws and epoxy, tinted Portland cement, gas pipes, laminated wood

2017

Dimensions: 58 x 77 x 50

This pose of the figure is based on a photo of Klein’s Leap. A leap into the void is really an oxymoron, because if you’re there it’s not a void anymore. You bring the world with you wherever you go. It’s stuck to you, you’re stuck to it. But you can still feel like you’re an immaterial essence. The figure in this piece is as light and airy as any I’ve made so far. He dissolves. He’s the deepest of blues. And I’m right there with him. That’s me jumping too. 

The boulder which I wrestled from a mountainside has a place in this story. Rock, mountains, the ground beneath us—these things send us messages every minute of our lives.  They assist and encourage us in our preposterous leaps. How old they are, shaped by immense natural forces, makes us long to transcend our human limitations, to become immaterial.

Curious fact: Yves Klein, a postwar conceptual artist and member of the Zero movement, exhibited and sold “zones of immaterial pictorial sensibility”, created a particular color known as International Klein Blue, and famously sprang from a second-story window, a performance titled Leap into the Void

© 2018 Phillip Stern