Lot 33
  • 33

YVES KLEIN (1928 - 1962) IN COLLABORATION WITH HARRY SHUNK (1924 - 2006) & JÀNOS KENDER (1937 - 2009) | Le Saut dans le vide

80,000 - 120,000 EUR
bidding is closed


  • Yves Klein
  • Le Saut dans le vide
  • signed by Harry Shunk on the reverse
  • silver print printed in 1992 by Harry Shunk in an edition of 3 plus 3 hors commerce and 2 exhibition proofs
  • 124 x 100 cm; 48  13/16  x 39  3/8  in.


Harry Shunk, New York
Galerie Montaigne, Paris (acquired from the above in 1992)
Private Collection, Paris (acquired from the above in 1992)


Paris, Galerie Montaigne, Yves Klein, Conférence de la Sorbonne 3 juin 1959, 1992; catalogue, n.p., illustrated (other example)


Terhi Génévrier-Tausti, L'Envol d'Yves Klein, L'origine d'une légende, Paris, 2006, p.99, illustrated (other example)

Catalogue Note

Throughout his life and artistic career, Yves Klein continuously pursued the path that guided him towards immaterialism, towards the void, up until "Architecture dans l'air", which he'll outline during the Conférence de la Sorbonne on June 3rd 1959.
The "saut dans le vide", a now iconic performance, was executed on October 19 on Rue Gentil-Bernard in Fontenay-aux-Roses, a suburb south-west of Paris where the artist regularly trained in judo. Yves Klein leaps from a pillar at the entrance of a pavilion, his face turned towards the sky, his arms crossed. Far from falling, the artist takes off. The street is empty, except for a cyclist passing by in the bottom right of the photograph. The fact that a man is hanging mid-air does not make his head turn nor does it stop him...
Anxious, as usual, to keep track of his actions, he invited, to immortalize the gesture, his two favourite photographers: John Kender and Harry Shunk. It is they who will realize in their Parisian laboratory this photomontage published for the first time in the frontpage of the newspaper created by Yves Klein "Sunday, the newspaper of a single day", on November 27, 1960. This time, the aim is to emphasize the concepts outlined during the Conférence at the Sorbonne for the general public.

Two years after the so-called exhibit "du vide" at the Galerie Iris Clert, Yves Klein did in fact take a leap, experimenting with the immaterial qualities of the void... As Claude Parent later confided, with whom the artist had the opportunity to collaborate on certain architectural projects, "it was a question of a thought from within which he expressed by acting it out. In the 1950s, I was bracing against anything irrational. However, I shared with Klein two irrational moments: the encounter with gold and blue and... the Saut".

The 1992 exhibit at the Galerie Montaigne dedicated to the immaterial work of Yves Klein featured photographs by Shunk and Kender, which represented a fundamental importance and conceptual milestone for photography within contemporary art. The same exhibit also drove Shunk to execute a limited edition of large prints for the first time only a year after his exhibit at the Kunsthalle in Basel, allowing the ephemeral and founding motions of the "Peintre de l'Espace" to take on all of their meaning.