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Klein William

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ABOUT

William Klein was born in New York in 1928 to a family of Jewish migrants. Since childhood, he dreamed of Europe and the bohemian life of Parisian artists. Ironically, Klein was drafted into the US Army during his demobilization and ended up in France. There he enters the Sorbonne, where he is engaged in sculpture, and, having bought his first camera, begins to photograph everything around. Striving for new acquaintances in artistic circles, Klein once successfully meets Picasso, and he notes the talent of a photographer.

In 1954, the work of William Klein was noticed by the art director of New York Vogue Alexander Lieberman and offered a contract with the magazine. Having no special education and experience in studio photography, Klein continues to shoot his models on the streets of New York using mirrors: this technique has become a «calling card» of the photographer. For Vogue and the entire fashion industry, this was one of the first experiences of shooting outside the pavilion and avoiding staged shots. Some of Klein’s tricks look revolutionary even today.

Largely thanks to William Klein, the attitude towards fashion photography in general, previously considered a «second-rate» advertising product, has changed. Klein was almost not interested in themodel’s outfit or hairstyle; he came up with an idea, which was the semantic and compositional basis of the photographs. Now, almost half a century later, in Klein’s photographs, one can discern not only the style of the late 1950s — early 1960s but also other features of the time, which is of increasing interest today.

William Klein is an honorary member of the Royal Photographic Society, and his work is in the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. He is the recipient of such awards as the Prix Nadar (1957), The Cultural Award (1988), the Hasselblad Award (1990), the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award (201 2) and the Sony World Photography Awards.

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2020
Modern Look: Photography and the American Magazine, Jewish Museum, New York
21.lettres.a.la.photographie@gmx.de, Museum Folkwang, Essen

2019
William Klein. Manifesto, Fundación Telefónica, Madrid

2018
Between Art & Fashion. Photographs from the Collection of Carla Sozzani, Museum for Photography. Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin

2016
EYES OPEN! 100 YEARS OF LEICA PHOTOGRAPHY, Versicherungskammer Kulturstiftung Kunstfoyer, Munich
Shoot! Shoot! Shoot! Photographs of the 60s and 70s from the Nicola Erni Collection, Münchner Stadtmuseum, Munich

2015
«How fashion is born: 100 years of photography from the archive of Condé Nast», МАММ, Moscow

2014
Modern Times. Photography in the 20th Century, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
The rush and calm, moments in the city, Hague Museum of Photography, Den Haag
Paris champ & hors champ, Galerie des bibliothèques de la Ville de Paris, Paris
Paparazzi! SCHIRN KUNSTHALLE FRANKFURT, Frankfurt

2013
Color! American Photography Transformed, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

2012
William Klein. New York. 1955, МАММ, Moscow
Zeitlos schön. 100 Jahre Modefotografie von Man Ray bis Mario Testino, International Forum For Visual Dialogues, C/O Berlin, Berlin

2011
EYES ON PARIS, Haus der Photographie, Hamburg
Harper’s Bazaar: A Decade of Style, ICP International Center of Photography, New York
Green White Red. A Perfume of Italy in the Collection of Frac Aquitaine, Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia

2009
This Is Not a Fashion Photograph. International Center of Photography – Year of Fashion, ICP International Center of Photography, New York
BIG CITY, Wien Museum, Vienna

2008
William Klein. Dressage, MEP – Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris

2007
Mapping the City, Stedelijk Museum Post CS, Amsterdam
Grey matters – photography is thinking, Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki

2006
The Heartbeat of Fashion. Haus der Photographie / Deichtorhallen, Hamburg
The Streets of New York. American Photographs from the Collection, 1938–1958, National Gallery of Art, Washington
Summer Vacation: Photographs from the Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

2005
Taking Place: Photographs from the Prentice and Paul Sack Collection, SFMOMA San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California
The cities of Klein, PHotoEspaña 2005 (PHE05), Madrid
La Photographie à l’épreuve, MAM Musée d’art Moderne, Saint-Etienne

2004
Paris + Klein, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo
V international month of photography in Moscow «Photobienalle 2004», МАММ, Moscow
don’ mention it, The Black Diamond, National Museum of Photography, Copenhagen
Collection Agnès B, Les Abattoirs – Frac Midi-Pyrénées, Toulouse
Une Passion Partagée. chefs d’oeuvre choisis de la Collection Ordoñez Falcon, Centre culturel de la Communauté Wallonie-Bruxelles, Brussels
Paris des photographes. from the collection of Centre Georges Pompidou, Kunstmuseum Magdeburg, Magdeburg
Colecção Fotográfica do Concello de Vigo, Centro Portugues de Fotografia, Porto

2003
Das Auge und der Apparat, Albertina, Vienna

2002
Life of the City, MoMA – The Museum of Modern Art, New York