Klein was too ahead of his time. Visitors to his exhibition choose the colors as if they were in a decorator's shop. The artist is shocked by this interpretation. Henceforth, all his monochromes shall be in Klein's blue. Klein patents his IKB. The artist has become a color engineer.
Piero Manzoni visits in Milan in 1957 an exhibition of eleven identical IKB monochromes. Manzoni's own surrealist Genus in oil and tar were already almost multiples, like the IKBs. Manzoni is now inspired by Klein while suppressing the color. His Achromes will exist by and for themselves. They are a culmination of the intuition by Malevich of the depersonalization of art and of the supremacy of texture.
Manzoni pleats his canvas before pouring the liquid kaolin. He does not control the blisters and drippings brought to his artwork during the final drying phase. This approach anticipates Klein's other practices by which the hand of the artist does not touch the hardware support: works made with the flamethrower or by bodies of women. An artist was formerly a painter, he is now a designer, an operator and a master of ceremonies. The happening has penetrated the art.
The Achromes by Manzoni are somehow made in multiple series. The most spectacular in their apparent simplicity show a network of smoothly undulating horizontal folds between two plain areas. One of them, 80 x 100 cm, made in 1958, is estimated £ 5M for sale by Phillips in London on February 9, lot 14. I invite you to watch the video shared by the auction house.
SOLD for £ 5.6M including premium