Christie’s follows its success in New York with Yves Klein by bringing three works to market in London:
On the 50th anniversary of Yves Klein’s death, two masterpieces by the artist will be offered in Christie’s Post-War & Contemporary Art Evening Auction, London on 27 June. This follows the outstanding result achieved at Christie’s New York last May when the legendary FC 1 (Fire-Color 1), sold for $36,482,500 (£22,619,150), setting a new world record for the artist at auction.
Representing the figurehead of the London auction season is Le Rose du bleu (RE 22) (1960; estimate upon request; illustrated above); by far the largest pink sponge relief ever created and included in all the artist’s major exhibitions over the past 50 years. Previously part of the renowned Madeleine Everaert and Menil collections, the work finds a perfect counterpoint in Relief éponge bleu (RE 51) (1959; estimate: £6,000,000-9,000,000; illustrated page 2), the ultramarine blue sponge relief previously owned by Lucio Fontana. Together, these otherworldly sponge reliefs capture the zeitgeist at the turn of the 1960s; a moment dominated by the Cold War space race. In 1961, the year after Klein created Le Rose du bleu (RE 22), Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin would go down in history as the first man to travel into space. A matter of weeks later, United States president, John F. Kennedy avowed to land a man on the moon within the decade.