ZürichYves Klein. The Venus Project
Conceived during their time in Las Vegas on Yves Klein and Rotraut’s now legendary 1961 road trip through the American West, the Venus Project was the starting point for the final two years of Klein’s career and his renewed interest in the classics. Having seen American replicas of Roman sculptures at a Las Vegas hotel, Klein would return to Paris with a definitive interest in combining his ideas with the ancient ones on view at the Louvre. That Klein would have been interested in Las Vegas, learning from it more than a decade before Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown wrote their defining thesis on post modernism is just another example of Klein’s ability to precurse the most important cultural ideas of our time.
The Venus Project was the major concept behind much of the work that Klein completed during the fall of 1961 and the early part of 1962. When Klein’s career was cut short by his passing in June of 1962 this major project was left unexecuted and an integral piece of Yves Klein’s late thought processes were left out of all subsequent understandings of his work. In 2014 the Yves Klein estate together with Galerie Gmurzynska realized the project in the garden of the Baur au Lac hotel in Zürich and made an omitted part of Yves Klein’s legacy accessible to the public.
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