Yves Klein untitled painting to lead London auction

An untitled painting by French abstract artist Yves Klein is to lead a contemporary art sale at Sotheby's London on February 10.

The work, executed in his trademark blue monochrome (known as International Klein Blue), dates to 1959 and is valued at £3.6m-4.6m ($5.5m-7m).

Yves Klein Blue
Yves Klein is best known for his blue monochrome canvases

Klein (1928-1962) is an important figure in 20th century European art. He was a founding member of the influential Noveau Realisme movement, which formed in 1960 in an attempt to anchor abstract art to the real world.

This fed into pop art and minimalism, the defining schools of the mid to late 20th century.

His work sells for major sums at auction - Le Rose de Bleu set a new record for a piece of post-war French art when it achieved £23.5m ($36.7m) at Christie's London in 2012.

A 1969 painting from Cy Twombly's Rome series is another highlight, with a valuation of £2m-3m ($3m-4.5m).

Born in the US, he moved to Italy in 1957, where he worked for the majority of his career.

Another Twombly painting, from his Blackboard series, set a new artist record when it sold for $69.6m at Sotheby's New York in November last year.

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