A painting by French artist Yves Klein created with water, a blowtorch and two models is expected to bring up to $40 million at auction next month in New York, Christie’s announced Thursday.
“FC 1,” executed a few weeks before the artist’s death at age 34, is considered by art experts to be his masterpiece. The painting is poised to set an auction record for the artist at the Post War and Contemporary Art sale on May 8. His “MG 9” holds the current record. It sold for $23.5 million at a Sotheby’s auction in 2008. Klein invited the media to observe the creation of “FC 1,” which was videotaped and featured in a documentary on the artist titled “La Revolution Bleue.” The painting “embodies Klein’s obsession with the irreconcilable concept of presence and absence, life and death,” said Loic Gouzer, Christie’s post-war and contemporary art specialist.