Yves Klein: Fire at the Heart of the Void

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"The aim of this book," Pierre Restany begins, "is to situate Fire in Yves Klein's work from the triple perspectives of mythic projection, ritual symbology, and artistic practice." Restany's groundbreaking, exegetic study shows how the myth of fire was the culmination of the artist's quest for the immaterial. The visionary French conceptual artist and "painter of the Void" Yves Klein (1928-1962) was an artist with a keen philosophical mind, yet deeply spiritual. Inspired by his study of the Japanese Kata (the abstract movements in Judo),
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Over 35 Color & b/w Illustrations (chiefly photographs) New York 1993 S Paperback F First American Edition Near Fine 12mo-over 6?"-7?" tall Slight creases and rubbing to ... wrappers (chiefly to foredge of upper wrapper); previous owner's ink name on half-title (first preliminary) page; else a near fine copy as issued. 160 pages. Foreword by Kerry Brougher; author's notes and short bibliography. Originally published in France in 1990 (under title: Yves Klein: Le Feu Au Coeur Du Vide). Read more Show Less

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Overview

"The aim of this book," Pierre Restany begins, "is to situate Fire in Yves Klein's work from the triple perspectives of mythic projection, ritual symbology, and artistic practice." Restany's groundbreaking, exegetic study shows how the myth of fire was the culmination of the artist's quest for the immaterial. The visionary French conceptual artist and "painter of the Void" Yves Klein (1928-1962) was an artist with a keen philosophical mind, yet deeply spiritual. Inspired by his study of the Japanese Kata (the abstract movements in Judo), Rosicrucian cosmogony, alchemy, and the phenomenological and psychological philosophies that emerged during his lifetime (particularly the writings of Gaston Bachelard), he constructed his vision of a future art that would purify the soul and society from the ashes of painting - all painting.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``The aim of this book,'' Restany begins, ``is to situate Fire in Yves Klein's work from the triple perspectives of mythic projection, ritual symbology, and artistic practice.'' We are told that the myth of fire was central to Klein's work, and that the artist's use of the colors blue, gold and pink find their ``logical synthesis in the flame of fire.'' But how the nature of fire relates to Klein's cosmogony remains somewhat of a mystery. As critical advisor and friend of Klein, Restany ( Bernard Stern ) is very knowledgeable about his subject matter but his use of art jargon is so nonchalant, and his terms are so overwhelmingly abstract, that it is close to impossible for the reader to glean much insight on Klein. Another cause for the obliqueness of the text is the translation. Throughout the text, one can sense Loselle grasping for English abstractions big enough to match French phrases that have no English equivalent. Even a sentence with dates and titles is transformed into art-historic nebulae: ``In 1960, Yves Klein's Magnum Opus enters its cosmological phase and comes closer and closer to the glorious body.'' Illustrations. (Mar.)
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