Leap into the Void

Yves Klein“Saut dans le Vide” /  “Leap into the Void “, 1960
Lee Gallery

Yves Klein tricked the world with this iconic photograph. In October 1960, Klein hired the photographers Harry Shunk and Jean Kender to make a series of pictures re-creating a jump from a second-floor window that the artist claimed to have executed earlier in the year. To complete the illusion that he was capable of flight, Klein distributed a fake broadsheet at Parisian newsstands commemorating the event.

 “Today the painter of space must, in fact, go into space to paint, but he must go there without trickery or deception,” he wrote. “He must be capable of levitation.”


+ this work arised from the parody / irony and some kind of trickery toward the public. This can be seen to highlight the artist’s fascination with mysticism and the symbolic. Klein claimed that from childhood, he possessed a supernatural power of levitation, which is evidently what he was trying to enact with this piece of work. 

+ Leap into the Void is contradictory to a demonstration of freedom and constraint. It seems a blunt act of disobedience against convention and the body as well as the laws of nature. 

+ We share the same interest in emptiness, void, and the infinite characteristic of space…



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