Yves Klein painting expected to sell for a record $12 – $18 million

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'Barbara (ANT 113)', Yves Klein. Courtesy of Christie's.

The Yves Klein painting, Barbara (ANT 113), is expected to sell for up to $18 million – smashing previous records for this series. It will be offered at Christie’s New York Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale on November 13, 2019.

The work dates back to 1960 and was completed as part of Klein’s famous Anthropometries series. The range ($12-$18 million) means it has the potential to beat the previous auction record for his Anthropometries series, which was set in 2010, for the $12.4 million painting Le buffle (ANT 93).  

Some have noted that if Barbara is sold for $18 million, it would imply that the dollar prices of Klein’s paintings have been rising at an annual compound rate of 4%.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale will benefit The Water Academy for Sustainable and Responsible Development Foundation.

Alex Rotter, chairman of the auctioneer’s Post-War and Contemporary Art, said: “Yves Klein’s Barbara (ANT 113) is brimming with dynamism and intensity representing a culminating moment in Klein’s celebrated Anthropometries, an extraordinary burst of artistic production that resulted in some of the most revolutionary canvases of the 20th Century.”

The series and indeed the painting Barbara (ANT 113) were created using Klein’s personally created hue called International Klein Blue (IKB). It is also notable that the series was created using naked women – who dunked themselves in various colours – performing to music and orchestrated by a tuxedo-clad Klein, on large canvases. 

Also on display at the Post-War and Contemporary Evening sale are works by Francis Bacon, David Hockney and Willem de Kooning.