View full screen - View 1 of Lot 9. Leap into the Void (5, rue Gentil-Bernard, Fontenay-aux-Roses, October 1960) (Artistic action by Yves Klein - Collaboration Harry Shunk and János Kender).

YVES KLEIN (1928-1962) / HARRY SHUNK (1924-2006) & JÁNOS KENDER (1937-2009)

Leap into the Void (5, rue Gentil-Bernard, Fontenay-aux-Roses, October 1960) (Artistic action by Yves Klein - Collaboration Harry Shunk and János Kender)

YVES KLEIN (1928-1962) / HARRY SHUNK (1924-2006) & JÁNOS KENDER (1937-2009)

YVES KLEIN (1928-1962) / HARRY SHUNK (1924-2006) & JÁNOS KENDER (1937-2009)

Leap into the Void (5, rue Gentil-Bernard, Fontenay-aux-Roses, October 1960) (Artistic action by Yves Klein - Collaboration Harry Shunk and János Kender)

Leap into the Void (5, rue Gentil-Bernard, Fontenay-aux-Roses, October 1960) (Artistic action by Yves Klein - Collaboration Harry Shunk and János Kender)

Yves Klein (1928-1962) / Harry Shunk (1924-2006) & János Kender (1937-2009)

Leap into the Void (5, rue Gentil-Bernard, Fontenay-aux-Roses, October 1960) (Artistic action by Yves Klein - Collaboration Harry Shunk and János Kender)

ferrotyped gelatin silver print, Harry Shunk's copyright/credit stamp and numerical notations in pencil on the reverse, framed, 1960, printing date unknown

image: 9⅛ by 7 in. (23.2 by 17.8 cm.)

frame: 14¼ by 11½ in. (36.2 by 29.2 cm.)

Please note the colors and shades in the online catalogue illustration may vary depending on screen settings. This ferrotyped print, on single-weight paper with thin margins, is in generally good condition. There are two rust-colored spots of indeterminate nature in the upper right quadrant; these appear gray in the illustration online, please contact the department for additional images. As is typical of the ferrotyping process, the following are visible when examining the print in raking light: scattered pitting, impressions, and fingerprints on the glossy surface. Handling creases are also visible throughout in raking light. On the reverse are 2 abrasions, one of which intruded upon the Harry Shunk stamp. There are adhesive remnants along the upper and lower edges. The numerical notations in an unidentified hand in pencil are as follows: '411 /25c c 11 83'; '7 to 8 11/16 pos D.M.'; and '1242.'

The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Collection of Yves Arman (1954-1989), son of the artist Arman (1928-2005)

Acquired from the above by the present owner, circa 1980

Douglas Fogle, The Last Picture Show: Artists Using Photography 1960-1982 (Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 2003), p. 9

Mathieu Copeland, Voids: A Retrospective (Zurich, 2009), cover (variant)

Bruno Corà and Daniel Moquay, Yves Klein (Lugano: Museo d’Arte, 2009), cover and pp. 112-3

Mia Fineman, Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012), frontispiece, pp. 182 and 252

Quentin Bajac et al., eds., Photography at MoMA: 1960 to Now (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2015), p. 156

Simon Baker and Fiontán Moran, Performing for the Camera (London: Tate Publishing, 2016), p. 10

Extant examples of Leap into the Void of any size and print date are rare. The photograph offered here comes originally from the collection of Yves Arman, the son of the artist Arman. Yves Arman was named after Yves Klein, his godfather and a close friend of his father’s from art school. Yves Arman moved to New York City in 1975 and opened a gallery on Madison Avenue, which he ran from the late 1970s to 1984; he died tragically in a car accident when he was just 34 years old. 

In October 1960, French New Realist artist Klein collaborated with the photographers Harry Shunk and János Kender to document his jump from a rooftop in Fontenay-aux-Roses, a Parisian suburb. In the resulting illusory image, Klein — arms outstretched and dressed in suit and tie — appears to fly gracefully in the air, unaware of the pavement below.

This iconic photograph is actually an ingenious composite of two negatives. Shunk-Kender, as they were known, first photographed Klein jumping from a second story window, landing safely in a tarpaulin held below. Next, they photographed the same scene but devoid of people, except for a bicyclist (possibly Kender himself) pedaling away at right. The two negatives were then spliced and printed carefully together on the same sheet to produce the final ‘documentary’ image.

Although there are a few alternate, preparatory versions of this photograph, including some taken from other viewpoints and one that does not feature a bicycle or train, the present composition remains the most recognizable and reproduced, as it was the version chosen by Klein for his parody newspaper Dimanche—Le journal d’un seul jour (The Newspaper of a Single Day)

Dimanche was available for purchase on Sunday, November 27, 1960 in Parisian kiosks. Intentionally designed to resemble the French newspaper Le journal du dimanche, the translated headline reads: ‘A man in space! The painter of space throws himself into the Void!’ Printed on occasion of the Festival d’Art d’Avant-Garde, this 4-page broadside was available for one day at Paris newsstands, selling for 35 cents. 

'I am the painter of space. I am not an abstract painter but, on the contrary, a figurative artist, and a realist. Let us be honest, to paint space, I must be in position, I must be in space' (Yves Klein, Dimanche—Le journal d’un seul jour, 1960).