Press RoomPhoenix Art Museum hosts world premiere of documentary film on the life and practice of German-French artist Rotraut

Phoenix Art Museum hosts world premiere of documentary film on the life and practice of German-French artist Rotraut

Apr, 05, 2023

Special Events and Programs

Phoenix Art Museum hosts world premiere of documentary film on the life and practice of German-French artist Rotraut

The film screening and artist Q&A on April 19 reveals intimate details about Rotraut’s paintings, process, and life with Yves Klein

Image credit: Carole Morgane Hamel Photography

PHOENIX (April 5, 2023) – This spring, Phoenix Art Museum (PhxArt) hosts the world premiere of Rotraut: l’énergie de la ligne (Rotraut: The Energy of the Line), a new documentary by Carole Morgane Hamel that chronicles the extraordinary life of internationally renowned artist Rotraut. Over 60 minutes, viewers will discover how the widow of artist Yves Klein paved her own way in the art world through paintings and sculptures inspired by the cosmos. Following the screening, Rotraut will host a question-and-answer session with audience members to provide additional insight into her practice. Rotraut: l’énergie de la ligne (Rotraut: The Energy of the Line) will premiere on Wednesday, April 19, 2023 at 6:30 pm in the Museum’s Whiteman Hall during Pay-What-You-Wish Wednesday, made possible by SRP and City of Phoenix. Tickets are $5 for the public and free for Museum Members and are available here.

“It is an honor to be the world-premiere venue for this important documentary on Rotraut and her enduring legacy,” said Jeremy Mikolajczak, the Museum’s Sybil Harrington Director and CEO. “Rotraut’s work has long moved audiences around the world, harnessing the nourishing qualities, harmony, and violence of nature in ways that evoke emotional reactions and deep introspection on the universe and humanity’s place within it. This celebration of her life is overdue, and we look forward to welcoming visitors into our galleries this spring to join us for this exciting occasion and to view one of Rotraut’s outstanding Galaxy paintings, now part of the PhxArt Collection.”

Rotraut Klein-Moquay, known simply as Rotraut, is a German-French contemporary artist who uses organize shapes to create paintings and sculptures that explore the magic and mysteries of the natural world, including the sky, stars, and universe. She began experimenting with painting and drawing as a teenager growing up in Germany, inspired by her brother, artist Günther Uecker. In 1958, she moved to France to work as an au pair for the family of the artist Arman. There, she met Yves Klein and became his companion, assistant, model, and muse. In 1959, Rotraut had her first solo exhibition at the New Visions Center Gallery in London. In 1962, she married Yves Klein, and only six months after, Klein passed away. In the 1970s, Rotraut began receiving international attention for her Galaxy paintings and showed her work at the Centre George Pompidou, Paris. In the 1990s, she began producing brightly colored monumental sculptures. Her works are found in national and international museum collections, including those at the Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, Nice; the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum, Krefeld; the Centre George Pompidou, Paris; and Phoenix Art Museum.

Rotraut: l’énergie de la ligne (Rotraut: The Energy of the Line) provides an intimate look into Rotraut’s life and practice, specifically her long fascination with the universe and how her work explores the energy of the seasons and the cosmos. Now 84 years old, the artist reveals for the first time the magic of her life with Yves Klein, how her poetic thoughts and authenticity feed her work, and how she forged her own way in the art world. The 60-minute documentary created by Carole Morgane Hamel is presented in French with English subtitles.

Prior to and after the viewing, PhxArt visitors can experience one of Rotraut’s Galaxy paintings during Pay-What-You-Wish Wednesday, when the Museum opens to the public from 3 – 9 pm with voluntary-donation general admission. Now on view in the Katz Wing for Modern Art, the work was acquired into the Museum’s permanent collection in 2022.

For more information, high-resolution photography, or a copy of this news release in Spanish, contact the Communications Office at 602.257.2117 or

About Phoenix Art Museum
Since 1959, Phoenix Art Museum has provided millions of guests with access to world-class art and experiences in an effort to ignite imaginations, create meaningful connections, and serve as a brave space for all people who wish to experience the transformative power of art. Located in Phoenix’s Central Corridor, the Museum is a vibrant destination for the visual arts and the largest art museum in the southwestern United States. Each year, more than 300,000 guests engage with critically acclaimed national and international exhibitions and the Museum’s collection of more than 20,000 works of American and Western American, Asian, European, Latin American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. The Museum also presents a comprehensive film program, live performances, and educational programs designed for visitors of all ages, along with vibrant photography exhibitions made possible through the Museum’s landmark partnership with the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona. To learn more about Phoenix Art Museum, visit, or call 602.257.1880.

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