A Receipt For ‘Invisible’ Artwork Sold for $1.2 Million, You Be the Judge If It’s Good

Photo: Sotheby’s

Long before NFTs were a thing, there was French artist Yves Klein’s “Zones of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility.” This “art” series from the 1950s consisted of the sale of literally nothing but space that Klein referred to as the “Immaterial Zone.” To prove that someone bought this invisible, definitely nonexistent art they received a receipt after an exchange of gold (for some reason) proving their ownership. But, if they truly wanted to complete the art piece, they had to burn the receipt and throw half the gold into the Seine River while a few witnesses watched. Obviously, this seems like total nonsense and makes us wonder if there’s just random gold at the bottom of the river that runs through Paris.

Since not everyone wanted to complete the piece because they actually wanted proof of this “art,” someone kept the receipt. And it’s a good thing they did because it just sold for an astonishing $1.2 million at auction recently. Sotheby’s, the auction house involved in the sale, assumed the receipt would get around $500,000, but it got double that amount.

The receipt was dated Dec. 7, 1959, and was auctioned off by an antique dealer named Jacques Kugel who sold the receipt and many other items from a former gallery owner named Loic Malle. Many believe Klein’s art was the first NFT and that might be true, but it doesn’t make it any less ridiculous.