During his short artistic career, started in the main in 1955, Yves Klein (Nice, France 1928 - Paris, 1962) fully gives himself over to markedly experimental practices replete with the poetry of the void and a clear undercurrent of spirituality. His work perpetually challenges notions of the value of art and radically reconsiders the role of the artist and viewer. For the exhibition's curator, Sidra Stisch, Klein's work, “not only submits a dialogue of art by developing innovative alternatives, it also highlights the ties to philosophical debates, technological advances and the cultural and socio-economic climate in the post-war period in the middle of the Fifties.”
Minimalismos was the title chosen by Anatxu Zabalbeascoa and Javier Rodríguez Marcos for a small book that was published in the year 2000 by the publishing company Gustavo Gili, Barcelona. In it, his vision of the popularisation of the term "minimalism" is told as well as the story of his expansion beyond the visual arts into other areas of expression such as architecture, music and fashion. On this occasion, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía uses them as commissioners for this exhibition that traces the evolution of that historical movement started in the Sixties and which has grown to become one of the most recognisable aesthetic categories today.
Far from the conventional chronological order, the works in the exhibition Monocromos: de Malevich al presente are installed for this installation in series corresponding to colour environment. The dual-origin of monochrome art (the mystical and the specific) in its evolution during the twentieth century illustrates the division between the spiritual quest of a transcendental experience and the desire to emphasise the physical presence of the object as a concrete reality and not an illusion. The two opposite meanings -the specific object and mystical icon- blend into the first monochrome paintings of Kasimir Malevich, created on the eve of the Russian revolution.
The exhibition New Realisms: 1957-1962 focuses on one of the most important periods of changes in art during the twentieth century, beginning with the completion of Modernism and ending during the peak of Postmodernism. This period brings together a heterogeneous multiplicity of decisive manifestations and creates a new discourse on art and its contexts, leaving Abstraction and the mastery of painting behind. At this time interest shifts from the conventional art object to processes, while questioning the production systems and the consumption of art; the foundations for a great change in the paradigms of art during the sixties are laid.