Yves Klein was a French painter considered to be a forefather of the Nouveau Realisme art movement. Klein is famous for creating Monochrome works, solid, single color paint on a canvas, devoid of any design or depictions. Some of Klein’s famous pieces include RE 46, which Yves Klein completed in 1960 and the 1962 work IKB 191. In 2006, RE 46 became among the top five highest grossing pieces sold by Christie’s, the Manhattan-based Auction House in the post World War II era. The Monochrome style was controversial to some, but Yves Klein maintained his reason for creating such work was to encourage those who viewed it to draw their own conclusions about what it was about, or the emotions it attempted to evoke.
Klein’s first private exhibition occurred in 1950. He, along with artists, such as Arman, Francois Dufrense, Martial Paysse, Jean Tinguely and Jacques Villegle were considered the founding members of the Nouveay Realisme style. Yves Klein was educated at the Ecole de la Marine Marchande, as well as the Ecole Nationale des Langues Orientales. Aside from his paintings, Klein is also deemed a pioneer of the Performance Art movement. Yves Klein died in 1962 at just thirty-four-years-of-age.