Yves Klein (1928-1962) was one of the most influential and controversial French artists during the 1950’s and is renowned for his intense study of color. His art is instantly recognizable due to his concentrated efforts to explore the tonal varieties of a singular color in particular, his patented International Klein Blue, or IKB.
Klein’s work, which almost exclusively uses his patented pigment, transfers the focus from the sculptural form to the intense color found within the vibrant blue. No better example of this can be found is his depictions of the iconic figures of Venus or Nike.
While the aesthetic is undoubtedly captivating in Klein’s pieces, they present a particular challenge from a conservation standpoint. Structural repairs to plaster are run of the mill and can done easily and successfully, but recreating the exact pigment and surface texture is near impossible. By testing specific dilutions of polyvinyl acetates in conjunction with pigments similar to IKB, we are able to recreate a surface coverage that presents to a near match. These treatments become even more difficult in localized areas.