Today anyone who paints space must actually go into space to paint, but he must go there without any faking, and neither in an aeroplane, a parachute, or a rocket: he must go there by his own means, by an autonomous, individual force.–Yves Klein, 1961
Yves Klein–associated with the postwar group of artists who called themselves the Nouveaux Réalistes, along with Piero Manzoni and Niki de Saint Phalle–is best known for creating a series of monochromatic, or “unicolor” blue paintings the color of the sky, which were identical except in size, hue, and texture. He wrote that “pure, existential space was regularly winking at me, each time in a more impressive manner, and this sensation of total freedom attracted me so powerfully that I painted some monochrome surfaces just to ‘see,’ to 'see’ with my own eyes what existential sensibility granted me: absolute freedom!” His paintings and later performances using women as “living paint brushes” were seminal in the European art movements of the late 1950s.
Dimanche combines appropriation, performance, actionism, conceptual art, and photo-montage all in one, and hints at this range of art movements just then coming into existence. It takes the form of a one-day newspaper, designed as an alternative to the regular Sunday paper, and includes texts and visual works by Klein, including his manifesto, “Theatre du Vide” (Theater of the Void). The photograph, captioned “Un homme dans l'espace” (A man in open space) depicts the artist leaping from his dealer’s second-story window into the void. It inspired numerous artists to explore their bodies as a medium for art.