French artist Yves Klein was one of the first relief-sponge artists, first reaching the public’s eye in the late 1950s. In one of the pieces, Accord Bleu (Sponge Relief), Klein used a teal blue color that he would later claim ownership of, called IKB blue. The piece was completed in 1958.
After garnering initial attention for his work with sponge reliefs, Klein was asked to decorate the Gelsenkirchen Opera House in Germany with four other artists. Six giant sponge relief murals were created for the Opera House, with four done in IKB blue and two in monochrome blue.
In 1960, William K. Jacobs acquired Accord Bleu (Sponge Relief) in Paris. In 1992, it finally joined the Brooklyn Museum’s collection. It has been at the museum ever since, but has only been displayed only once. Lacking context within the museum, it hasn’t been utilized or appreciated for many years.
Because of this, the Brooklyn Museum has chosen to auction Accord Bleu (Sponge Relief) and use the proceeds to create a fund for purchasing other works of art. The Brooklyn Museum hopes to gain more contemporary and progressive works of art from the 21st century that will fit better with the current collection.
Accord Bleu (Sponge Relief) is expected to sell for somewhere between $7 million and $10 million. Christie’s New York, located at 20 Rockefeller Plaza, will offer a public viewing from November 10th-13th. The auction will take place on November 14th.