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The son of two painters, Yves Klein was born in Nice, France in 1928. Always drawn to the limitless blue expanses of sea and sky that dominate life on the Mediterranean coast, Klein expressed in his art the obsessive longing he felt for these weightless, limitless spaces beyond the material world. A self-taught artist, he studied Judo (the martial art) and Rosicrucianism (a mystical Christian sect) in his teens and twenties. Klein believed that "Judo is, in effect, the discovery of the human body in a spiritual space." Klein was also drawn to eastern religions that envisioned the transformation of the world with static dimensions into an age of space and pure spirit. Through fasting and meditation, he felt that he could leave his body and float into a spatial void.

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