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Le Rose du Bleu (c. 1960)
By Yves Klein (1928-1962)
Estimated price: £17-20 million
Price realised: £23,561,250

On Wednesday, June 27, a new world record for French post-war artist Yves Klein (1928-1962) was set at auction when his magnificent sponge relief, Le Rose du Bleu, was sold for £23.5 million at Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale. This intensely tactile work is part of the otherworldly reliefs which Klein was inspired to create around the time of the Cold War space race.

Klein’s work can be seen as prophetic of man’s awesome advances into space, the sponge effect creating the appearance of a lunar landscape. The painting is made up of nine large, glowing sculptural sponge orbs, which are decorated with pebbles, while the vibrant pink pigment used creates an arresting image.

This work is the largest ever to be carried out in rose maddor and has been included in all the artist’s major exhibitions over the past 50 years. The painting was previously part of the renowned Madeline Everaet and Menil collections.

Christie’s Old Master’s and British Paintings Evening Sale took place on July 3 at Christie’s in London. For further information please visit http://www.christies.com.

First published in the Adbuzzzz Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on August5, 2012.