To include life, Klein invites naked women into his artistic process. They twirl in music around him while he covers the whole surface of his canvas with his strictly monochrome Ives Klein Blue.
Their presence around him is not carnal and the end result does not leave to the viewer a trace of the influence of the assistants of the artist. In 1958 he made a first experiment in which the woman splashes the canvas after jumping into a paint pool positioned in its center.
From February 1960, Klein alters this method in order to better control the end result and also to make it a happening during which he is the master of ceremonies, dressed in tuxedos. The bodies are coated with the IKB paint. Women wiggle their torso and thighs on the paper while following the musical rhythm. The artist hops around them to guide their movements.
The designation of the series under the name of Anthropométries, labeled ANT by the artist, follows an enthusiastic exclamation by Pierre Restany. Klein stated that his ritual was devoid of eroticism. It may be taken for sure : the body of the woman is nothing more than a tool of the artist.
Le Buffle, ANT 93, sold for $ 12.4 million including premium by Christie's on May 11, 2010, is very wide, on a paper surface of 178 x 280 cm, and it is possible that two women were simultaneously performing.
Most of the other works in this series are simpler. ANT 131, 165 × 120 cm, was sold for £ 4.2 million including premium by Sotheby's on 1 July 2008. ANT 118, 200 × 118 cm, is estimated £ 8M for sale by Christie's in London on February 11, lot 29.