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Stated: Why a receipt for an invisible artwork could fetch half-a-million pounds at auction

A receipt for an invisible artwork by French artist Yves Klein, issued in 1959, is predicted to fetch somewhere involving 300,000 and 500,000 euros when it goes underneath the hammer at Sotheby’s on April 6.

An significant figure in post-war European art, Klein was a member of the Nouveau Réaliste motion that started in France in the 1950s. Known for his radical techniques and conceptual artwork, the artist died from a heart attack at the age of 34 in 1962.

When and why did Klein issue the receipt?

1 of the pioneers of general performance art, in 1958, Klein opened an exhibition named “The Void” at Galerie Iris Clert in Paris which noticed him position a big cupboard in an vacant space. The collectors ended up provided an option to buy a perform from the non-existent conceptual collection in return for pure gold. They were also offered a selection — either to preserve their receipt or burn off them in a ritual.

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For individuals who chose to burn up them, Klein also dumped fifty percent of the gold he was compensated for the work into the Seine River. Klein explained the imaginary areas as “Zones of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility”.

The 8.5 x 19.5 cm receipt that will be marketed by Sotheby’s is dated December 7, 1959, and was at first issued to antique vendor Jacques Kugel. It is now in possession of art advisor and former gallery operator Loic Malle, who is placing over 100 merchandise from his private selection up for auction.

In a observe on the operate, Sotheby’s compares the receipts up for auction to Non-Fungible Tokens. (Image: Sotheby’s)

Why is the receipt sizeable?

A reminder of the innovative art piece conceptualised by Klein, American visual art magazine ARTnews has stated that in accordance to historian Denys Riout, there are only four surviving receipts from the revenue created concerning 1959 and 1962. The receipt staying auctioned has been exhibited commonly, which includes at the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid in 1995, and Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2007.

In a be aware on the work, Sotheby’s compares the receipts to Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) in art, which has received prominence since last year. The note reads, “Some have equated the transfer of a zone of sensitivity and the invention of receipts as an ancestor of the NFT, which by itself makes it possible for the trade of immaterial will work. If we include that Klein held a sign-up of the successive owners of the “zones”, it is uncomplicated to locate listed here one more innovative concept — the blockchain.”

What is Klein renowned for?

Coming from a household of artists, Klein had no formal teaching in artwork. He was a critical member of the Parisian Nouveau Réalisme movement that emphasised on finding “new ways of perceiving the real”.

The 1950s saw him get the job done primarily in monochromes of gold, mono pink and blue. In 1960, he famously patented the International Klein Blue (IKB), a deep blue hue developed by him and utilised in a series of his works, which includes a overall performance piece in the late ’50s, in which he had versions painted with the shade of blue urgent their bodies towards blank canvases.

His 1960 photograph “Leap into the Void” showed the artist vaulting down from a building with his palms stretched. Checking out the non secular realm, the photograph put together two individual visuals.

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