Table d’or

Yves Klein's Table d'or

Marianne Boesky's Rose table Photo: Jason Schmidt

Marianne Boesky's Rose table Photo: Jason Schmidt

For years I have admired private collections that have included Yves Klein tables and have dreamed of placing one in a clients collection.  Probably the most well known is in the collection of Marianne Boesky who so generously allowed images from her home to be photographed for the New York Times Magazine in 2007. Here is a picture of her gorgeous rose table in her lovely home. It comes in 3 colors, International Klein Blue, rose and gold. The blue and rose are filled with paint pigment and are vibrant, electric.

a package of gold leaf

a package of gold leaf

Finally, TFAA has had the opportunity to acquire an Yves Klein Table d’or. The installation was interesting to say the least. It started in the afternoon when Art Crating delivered the large crate that had journeyed from Paris to TFAA headquarters on York Ave in NYC. The crate contained the glass top, plexi table and metal legs. A smaller box contained 3000 pieces of gold leaf, enough to fill two tables.

dropping the gold leaf into the table

Our installer, Matt, came over around 6pm and started the installation process which lasted until the end of American Idol that night. Yep. Almost 4 hours! My husband, Noah, our cat, Rocky, and I watched quietly as Matt screwed the legs on the table and cautiously cleaned the plexi with a non static cloth and solution. This is imperative as the table is very sensitive to static, but, more about that later. After the table was carefully cleaned and placed in our living room, the fun really began. Matt, wearing white cotton gloves, started to drop each individual piece of gold leaf into the table. 1500 pieces of gold leaf. Matt knelt for approximately 3 hours patiently and carefully dropping the gold leaf, each piece landing differently, creating a luminous and unpredictable landscape of gold sparkle.

laying down the glass top

Finally, when all of the gold leaf had been dropped and not a section of the table remained uncovered came the most nerve racking part of the installation, for Matt, at least. Matt explained that he had installed 35 Yves Klein tables of which only 4 were gold. On his first Table d’or installation he caught an air bubble when laying down the glass and all of the gold suctioned up to the glass top. Yep, 3 more hours of installing. Fortunately, Matt took his time for us and laid the glass down perfectly. Voila! The most gorgeous table I’ve ever seen. I now know why I never see these tables at art fairs.

As we have lived with the table for a few months now, I have realized that the table is alive. We use it, put glass, china, magazines, the occasional foot on the top and often the gold comes alive, reacting to the static we cause. A rogue gold leaf wakes up, stands straight up and then falls down. We love seeing them stand and salute and wonder how long it will be before it will settle back to rest. We have learned that the vacuum is not our tables’ friend, but, fortunately our cat is static free.

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