Yves Klein and James Turrell dialogue at Lévy Gorvy in a spectacular exhibition running until 6 July in London. The two-room presentation brings together Klein’s installation Pigment pur bleu (1957/2018) and Turrell’s projection Orca, Blue-Red (1968). The exhibition succesfully explores notions of space, light, perception and colour.
For over three decades, Turrell has used light and indeterminate space — not objects, nor images — to extend and enhance perception. Turrell’s inspiration draws from astronomy, architecture and theology. His installation at Lévy Gorvy comprises two beams of vivid light— one blue, one red — projected on the wall of the gallery. The specific orientation of the two colours do not meet on purpose, hereby creating an interstice of intermediate hues. The light changes are subtle and hypnotic and transfix the viewer.
In 1960, Klein was inspired to develop IKB – International Klein Blue – after searching for a shade of blue that effectively unlocked the endless void of space, eradicating the division of earth and sky. A large, white wooden tray containing a flat plane of vibrant blue pigment is presented in the gallery, encapsulating Klein’s talent to transform monochromatic matter into a work of art. Archival footage featuring Pigment pur bleu in its first installation at Galerie Colette Allendy, Paris in 1957 complements Yves Klein’s monumenal installation and gives historical context.
Image: Yves Klein, Pigment pur bleu, 1957/2018, Wood tray with dry pigment, Dimensions variable © Yves Klein Estate, ADAGP, Paris / DACS, London, 2018.
James Turrell, Orca Blue-Red, 1968, MRI wire projector (double projection), Dimensions variable © James Turrell.