Created in 1959, Untitled (IKB 301) is a luminous painting by Yves Klein, rendered in the artist’s signature IKB or International Klein Blue. This unique azure, an oceanic force, came to be synonymous with Klein’s career: it both reinvigorated the monochrome and anticipated many of the conditions of Minimalist and Conceptualist art practices. Unlike Kazemir Malevich and Ad Reinhardt who understood the monochrome to be the logical conclusion of painting, Klein instead saw chromatic purity as a radical extension of the medium, explaining that he could ‘no longer approve of a 'readable' painting’ as eyes were made ‘not to read a painting, but rather to see it. PAINTING is colour’ (Y. Klein quoted in K. Brougher, 'Involuntary Painting', Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers, exh. cat., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C., 2010, p. 26). Klein’s pigment is vividly saturated, conjuring a visceral almost mystical experience, seen by the artist as a space of pure consciousness and immateriality. His quest for a transcendental mode of painting began in 1947 when, sitting on a rocky outcrop in Nice with his friends the artist Arman and composer Claude Pascal, he suddenly declared, ‘the blue sky is my first artwork’ (Y. Klein quoted in K. Brougher, 'Involuntary Painting', Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers, exh. cat., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C., 2010, p. 19). Of all the colours, Klein believed blue to be the least tangible and most suffused with a sense of infinite expanse. Certainly, Untitled (IKB 301) is evocative of a blazing Mediterranean light as the colour overwhelms its material supports and streams outwards into the ether.