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Career Highlights Between 1947 and 1948, Klein conceived his Monotone Symphony (1949, formally Monotone Silence Symphony) that consisted of a single 20-minute sustained chord followed by a 20-minute silence – a precedent to both La Monte Young's drone music and John Cage's 4′33″. During the years 1948 to 1952, he traveled to Italy, Great Britain, Spain, and Japan. In Japan, at the age of 25, he became a master at judo receiving the rank of yodan (4th dan/degree black-belt) from the Kodokan, which at that time was a remarkable achievement for a westerner. He also stayed in Japan in 1953. Klein later wrote a book on Judo called Les fondements du judo. In 1954, Klein settled permanently in Paris and began in earnest to establish himself in the art world.
Career Highlights Although Klein had painted monochromes as early as 1949, and held the first private exhibition of this work in 1950, his first public showing was the publication of the Artist's book Yves Peintures in November 1954. Parodying a traditional Catalogue raisonné, the book featured a series of intense monochromes linked to various cities he had lived in during the previous years. Yves Peintures anticipated his first two shows of oil paintings, at the Club des Solitaires, Paris, October 1955 and Yves: Proposition monochromes at Gallery Colette Allendy, February 1956. Public responses to these shows, which displayed orange, yellow, red, pink and blue monochromes, deeply disappointed Klein, as people went from painting to painting, linking them together as a sort of mosaic.
Career Highlights Later in the year of 1958 he was invited to decorate the Gelsenkirchen Opera House, Germany, with a series of vast blue murals, the largest of which were 20 metres by 7 metres. The Opera House was inaugurated in December 1959. Klein celebrated the commission by travelling to Cascia, Italy, to place an ex-voto offering at the Saint Rita Monastery. The offering took the form of a small transparent plastic box containing three compartments; one filled with IKB pigment, one filled with pink pigment, and one with gold leaf inside. The container was only rediscovered in 1980.
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