Yves Klein was born in Nice into a family of painters. A leading member of the Nouveau Réalisme movement which was founded in 1960, Klein was a pioneer in the development of Performance Art.
Klein is considered an inspiration as well as a forerunner of Minimal Art as well as Pop Art.
At the age of nineteen, Klein and his artist friends Arman Fernandez and Claude Pascal lay on the beach in the South of France and divided the world between themselves. Arman chose the the earth, Claude chose words, while Yves chose the ethereal space surrounding the planet, which he then proceeded to sign. With this symbolic gesture of signing the sky, Klein had foreseen, as in a reverie, the thrust of his art from that time onward - a quest t0 reach the far side of the infinite.
At the beginning of his career, Klein had painted monochromes. One of his first exhibitions, 'Proposte Monochrome, Epoca Blu' (Proposition Monochrome, Blue Epoch) featured 11 identical blue canvases, using ultramarine pigment suspended in a synthetic resin 'Rhodopas'.
Klein's table is similar to his suspended pigment pieces, which were the genesis. The form of the table is very simple, very elegant, and meant really to disappear. The pigment is all. And since the pigment is loose, it does invite comparison to Klein's belief in pure space: the eye penetrates what seems to be a limitless depth. There are three Klein tables: one filled with Bleu Klein® pigment, one with rose madder, and one containing 3000 sheets of gold leaf.