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Yves Klein Monotone-Silence Symphony at Grace Cathedral - San Francisco

“Even in its presence, this symphony does not exist” –Yves Klein

Lévy Gorvy is pleased to present Yves Klein’s groundbreaking Monotone-Silence Symphony, a bold work by the acclaimed artist primarily known for his monochrome paintings and metaphysical explorations. Performed only once during Klein’s brief lifetime, this extraordinary piece is being presented for the first time in San Francisco and only the third time in the U.S., in collaboration with the Yves Klein Archives. The work will be conducted by Petr Kotik. Artsy is the online partner.

6:30 pm. Doors open at 6 pm.

Free. RSVP required.

About Yves Klein and the Monotone-Silence Symphony

Yves Klein (1928–1962) was the leading member of the French artistic movement nouveau réalisme, and a pioneer in the development of performance art, minimal art and pop art. A transcendent and moving experience, Monotone-Silence Symphony was described by the artist as “one unique continuous ‘sound,’ drawn out and deprived of its beginning and of its end, creating a feeling of vertigo and of aspiration outside of time.” The work unfolds over minutes, as a group of musicians and singers holds a single continuous tone for a twenty-minute period, followed by twenty minutes of absolute silence. Klein originally conceived of the work with two friends on a beach in the South of France, around 1947-48, about the same time that John Cage was working on 4’33”, another innovative musical composition incorporating silence and ambient sound. Klein performed the piece with a small orchestra and chorus in Paris in 1960, although he never realized the work at the full scale he desired before his death two years later at the age of thirty-four.

New York Times feature story by Randy Kennedy on the first U.S. performance of Yves Klein’s Monotone Silence-Symphony, presented by Dominique Lévy, September 2013.