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    Yves Klein's FC1, described as one of the most important Post War European works of art. (Click on image to enlarge) UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR $36,482,500.

    THE most important work by Yves Klein ever offered at auction, his Fire-Color Painting FC 1, comes up for sale in New York on May 8. Estimated at $30-40 million Christie’s say it is poised to break the world record for the artist at auction.  Contemporary art specialist Loic Gouzer said:  “Yves Klein’s FC 1 is to Europe what Pollock’s NUMBER ONE is to America. It is the ultimate heroic work fusing all of the elements that Klein learnt to master over his short and intense career. FC1 perfectly embodies Klein’s obsession with the irreconcilable concept of presence and absence, life and death”.

    FC 1 depicts two female figures amid the fiery blue, gold and red flame-licked surface. The bodies hover on the borderline of abstraction, between the realms of the material and the immaterial. Two models acted as brushes. Doused with water they pressed themselves to a large sheet of treated cardboard. Klein then directed an intense flame towards the board.  The moisture soaked cardboard resisted. Then the models coated themselves in a subtle pink paint and pressed against the board.  They then applied a thicker coat of his IKB pigment to leave a last impression on the surface while he enhanced their silhouettes spraying pink and blue pigment with an airbrush.  By placing the sensual apparitions of the female body among the flame bursts and smoke shadows, Klein combined life and death in a way that speaks to the fragility of life but also to its permanence. On the one hand, there is a clear sense of the destructive power of the flame. On the other, the presence of the female forms hints at the eternal power of life that transcends all things.

    Klein set daily life into the context of the spiritual realm he called the void; a void marked by the primal, eruptive, apocalyptic and eternal forces of life-giving and life-consuming energy. He stated: “The void has always been my main preoccupation, and I firmly believe that fires burn in the heart of the void as in the heart of man.”  He died aged 34 in 1962 shortly after the work was completed.

    UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR $36,482,500.


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