"The Monochrome Adventure"
Certain people, confronted by my monochrome paintings, often ask "But what does it represent?" I might answer as I used to, that it quite simply represents blue in itself, or red, or even, for example, that it's the landscape of the world of the color yellow: that would be correct yet more important to my mind, is that by painting one color for its own sake, I break with the "spectacle" of the ordinary, conventional, classic easel-painting.
I am in favor of more line, more design; why not, then, of two colors?
Well, because I refuse to provide a spectacle in my painting. I refuse to compare and put in play, so that some stronger element will emerge in contrast to other, weaker ones.
Even the most civilized representation is based on an idea of "combat" between different forces, and the onlooker assists at a death-scene in apainting, adrama morbid by definition as it's a question of loveand hate.
For me, the painting is an individual, I want to consider it as such and not judge, above all, not judge it!
As soon as there are two colors in a painting, combat begins; the permanent spectacle of this battle of two colors may give the onlooker a subtle psychological and emotional pleasure, that is nonetheless morbid from a purely human, philosophical point of vieuw.
For me, colors are living beings, highly developed individuals that become part of us, as of everything. Colors are the true inhabitants of space. Line merely travels through, crosses; it merely passes by. Every nuance, although of the same family as the base color, nonetheless has its own, autonomous life, a fact which makes it immediately clear that painting in one color is not limited; there are myriads of nuances of all colors, each with its particular worth.
The painting is merely the witness, the sensitive plate that has recorded what's happened. Color, in the chemical form in which all painters use it, is the best suited to be this medium of the event. My paintings represent poetic events or, rather, are immobile, silent, static witnesses of that essential movement and free life which, in the pictorial moment, is a flame of poetry!
Yves Klein: 1928-1962, a retrospective, New York 1982, blz.: 220/224.