Sponge, c. 1962
paint, sponge, wire, glass
41.8 x 32 x 18.5 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift from the collection of Samuel B. Nitikman, by his family
At the age of 18, Yves Klein discovered that the colour blue was a powerful means of communication. Blue was to Klein one of the purest elements in the universe, and in 1956 he developed his trademark ultramarine blue named IKB (International Klein Blue). Claiming it allowed him to emulate the authenticity of the pure idea, Klein used blue and real gold in his sculptural and performance pieces to demonstrate his belief in creating art that coincided with the natural order of things. The WAG sculpture is part of his sponge series developed from the realization that the materials he used could actually be artworks in and of themselves. Klein is perhaps best known for his Anthropométries series, completed between 1960 and 1961, where he covered naked women in blue paint and then pressed them onto or dragged them across a canvas.