This Yves Klein’s rare, large-scale, and magnificent abstraction Archisponge (Re 11) from 1960 was the evening’s top lot on November the 11th, 2008 in NYC, selling to an anonymous telephone bidder for $ 21,3 million (unpublished estimate in the region of $25 million). The vendor acquired the sea sponge and pebble–festooned work from legendary collector François de Menil from Houston in 1984.
Yves Klein (1928 - 1962) was a French artist and is considered an important figure in post-war European art. New York critics of Klein's time classify him as neo-Dada, others as a Post-modernist.
Klein was born in Nice, studied at the École Nationale de la Marine Marchande and the École Nationale des Langues Orientales and began practicing judo. He suffered a first heart attack whilst watching the film Mondo Cane at the Cannes Film Festival on 11 May 1962. Two more heart attacks followed, the second of which killed him on 6 June 1962.
The Menil collection is situated at 1515 Sul Ross Street Houston, TX 77006 : with its 16,000 objects, it is but one outcome of this French couple's vision and philosophy. Intertwining art, social activism, and a profound spirituality, the de Menils left an indelible mark on their adopted city of Houston. I used to live two blocks away from the Menil collection and it is one of the most beautiful private collection I have ever seen.