a tale of a few cities

Yves Klein, Tossed

Posted in Art by petercombe on November 14, 2008


A few years ago while holidaying in Barcelona, I ventured out to Sitges. The resort town is about 30 minutes outside the city by train. Friends of the family live there and i was invited out to lunch at friends of there’s, a german couple whose past was art dealing in Cologne. As we were about to sit for lunch I couldn’t help but notice the Yves Klein wall relief, an intense blue – Klein Blue infact, hanging on the dining room wall behind me. One of the hosts noticed my glance and asked if i knew who it was. I surely did. He then went on to tell me that he used to have two – only his lover thought they were rubbish and threw one out. His partner was sitting at the other end of the table looking rather sheepish – and i’m sure has never lived it down.

Which brings me to this past tuesday evening’s sale of Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s, New York. The evening’s star was an Yves Klein wall relief from 1960 featuring the artist’s signature rich saturated blues. It was being sold by Magnus Lindholm, a Swedish collector, and was estimated at more than $25 million. It brought $19 million, or $21.3 million with fees: under the estimate, but still hefty.

Reading about the sale in The New york Times I couldn’t help but think about that lunch a couple of years ago in Sitges and wonder if at all they’d heard the news of sale and Klein’s worth at the moment.


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