Yves Klein receipt

A receipt for Yves Klein's invisible artwork that sold at €850,000 (£710,000) at Sotheby's Paris on April 6.


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Klein (1928-62) sold a small number of these zones of empty space (the Zone de sensibilité picturale immatérielle) in return for a weight of pure gold, between the first creation of the piece in 1959 to his death in 1962.

Yves Klein receipt

A receipt for Yves Klein's zone de sensibilité picturale immatérielle série n°1, zone n°02 (receipt to Jacques Kugel).

Fewer than a handful of receipts are believed to have survived - not least because the artist offered the purchasers the option to participate in a piece of performative art: a ritual in which the buyer would burn the receipt, and Klein would throw half of the gold into the Seine to rebalance the “natural order” that he had unbalanced through the sale of the space.

Estimated at €280,000-500,000, it was sold by art adviser and curator Loic Malle, who owned it for 35 years. It was one of the 100 lots from his collection which totalled a premium-inclusive €3.3m (£2.75m) at the April 6 sale.

The new owner acquired the receipt and Klein’s invisible work of art.