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Ali + Bundini, Miami, Florida, United States, February 1964 (painted in 2010)

William Klein

born in 1928 in New York (United States)

Ali + Bundini, Miami, Florida, United States, February 1964 (painted in 2010)

William Klein was born in New York city in 1928. After graduating early from high school, he began studying sociology at the City College of New York. in 1946 he joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany, where he won his first camera in a poker game. After relocating to Paris in 1948, he continued his studies at the sorbonne with the assistance of the G.i. Bill. At the time, his focus was abstract painting and sculpture, which he studied under Fernand Léger. Klein’s early career breaks came from two exhibitions in Milan, where he was discovered by the architect Angelo Mangiarotti. They began to collaborate when Mangiarotti asked Klein to recreate once of his abstract paintings on the rotating room dividers of a Milanese apartment—his first commissioned work. It was the experience of documenting these panels in motion that lead him to reconsider photography. > Read more

in 1954, Alexander Liberman—then the art director of American vogue—asked to meet with Klein after seeing his kinetic sculptures in the paris group show, "Le salon des réalitiés nouvelles". Subsequently, Vogue published his photographs of Dutch barns, reminiscent of Mondrian, soon after their meeting. Thus began his foray into fashion photography, as well as his well-known photographic essays on various cities. Shooting for Vogue during a brief return to New York , Klein let loose on the city, taking fashion photography in a whole new direction. He captured the beautiful and the grotesque all within wide-angle and telephoto shots. Taking models down into the streets, his revolutionary techniques pioneered a new vision.

Widely acknowledged as a signficant innovator in the history and design of the photo book, Klein published his first book "Life is Good and Good For You in New York" in 1956, and won the prix Nadar the following year. Capturing the rough and tumble of daily life, Klein’s brutally honest images caused a major sensation. Three more books were published, each with photographs from a different city: Rome, Moscow and Tokyo.

In 1958, Klein began to explore the moving image, creating his first pop film, "Broadway by Light", in 1958. He went on to produce feature films and documentaries including a satire about the fashion world, "Qui-Êtes vous Polly Maggoo?" (1966); "Muhammad Ali", and "The Greatest" (1969). His last film to date, "Messiah" (1999), reveals on an epic scale a summary of the themes present throughout his artistic career.

The recipient of numerous awards, Klein was honored with a commander of Arts and Letters in France in 1989, the medal of the century by the Royal Photographic Society in London in 1999, the international center of photography Infinity Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2007, and the outstanding contribution to photography Award at the 2012 Sony World photography Awards. Works by William Klein are included in the collections of such institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Klein lives and works in Paris, France. 

Selected Exhibitions

Selected Exhibitions

WIlliam Klein

Festival Foto, Istanbul, 2014

Retrospective

William Klein + Daido Moriyama

Tate Modern, London, UK, 2012

ROMA + KLEIN

Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France, 2002

Réalités

Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France, 2008

Italie double vision

Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France, 2007

Rétrospective

Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, 2005

William Klein

Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France, 2002

William Klein

Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA, 1995

Rétrospective

Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, 1983

50 years of VOGUE

Musée Jacquemart André, Paris, France, 1982

William Klein

Museum of Modern Art, New York, Etats-Unis, 1980

Photography of the Fifties: An American Perspective

ICP, New York, USA, 1980

Press

William Klein Polka #29

Polka Magazine #29

William Klein : l'oeil absolu

Marianne Blog, march 2015

William Klein : Brooklyn Digital

Polka #25, mars 2014

William Klein : Klein d'oeil

L'Express, march 26th, 2014

William Klein : Klein-Moriyama, le choc des titans

Polka #19, août 2011

William Klein : Kiss Bill

Polka #13, mai 2011

William Klein : Rebelles

Polka #11, novembre 2010

William Klein : Muhammad Ali

Polka #11, novembre 2010

William Klein : Trois photographies sur un plateau

Polka #8, février 2010

William Klein : Par William Klein

Polka #5, mai 2009

Exhibitions at Polka Galerie

Exhibitions at Polka Galerie

Tokyo 1961 + KLEIN Tokyo 1961 + KLEIN Tokyo 1961 + KLEIN Tokyo 1961 + KLEIN Tokyo 1961 + KLEIN

William Klein

Tokyo 1961 + KLEIN
March 7 - May 9, 2015
Brooklyn + William Klein Brooklyn + William Klein Brooklyn + William Klein Brooklyn + William Klein Brooklyn + William Klein

William Klein

Brooklyn + William Klein
March 22 - May 24, 2014
Itinérances Itinérances Itinérances Itinérances Itinérances

William Klein

Itinérances
May 27 - July 30, 2011
Ali + Klein Ali + Klein Ali + Klein Ali + Klein Ali + Klein

William Klein

Ali + Klein
November 19, 2010 - February 19, 2011
Action Action Action Action Action

William Klein

Action
March 11 - June 5, 2010
William Klein & Cie William Klein & Cie William Klein & Cie William Klein & Cie William Klein & Cie

William Klein

William Klein & Cie
June 4 - August 8, 2009
Collective Exhibition Collective Exhibition Collective Exhibition Collective Exhibition Collective Exhibition

William Klein

Collective Exhibition "Terre des îles"
January 25th - March 3rd 2018
William Klein Exhibition William Klein Exhibition William Klein Exhibition William Klein Exhibition William Klein Exhibition

William Klein

William Klein Exhibition "William+Klein" Retrospective
March 24th - May 26th 2018

Selected Publications

Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo

William Klein

Tokyo
Zokeisha Publication
Brooklyn + Klein Brooklyn + Klein Brooklyn + Klein Brooklyn + Klein Brooklyn + Klein

William Klein

Brooklyn + Klein
ÉDITIONS CONTRASTO
Paintings, etc. Paintings, etc. Paintings, etc. Paintings, etc. Paintings, etc.

William Klein

Paintings, etc.
éditions Contrasto
Films Films Films Films Films

William Klein

Films
Éditions Marval
Roma + Klein Roma + Klein Roma + Klein Roma + Klein Roma + Klein

William Klein

Roma + Klein
éditions du Chêne
Contacts Contacts Contacts Contacts Contacts

William Klein

Contacts
éditions Contrasto
Rétrospective Rétrospective Rétrospective Rétrospective Rétrospective

William Klein

Rétrospective
éditions Contrasto
Paris + Klein Paris + Klein Paris + Klein Paris + Klein Paris + Klein

William Klein

Paris + Klein
éditions Marval
New York 1954 - 55 New York 1954 - 55 New York 1954 - 55 New York 1954 - 55 New York 1954 - 55

William Klein

New York 1954 - 55
éditions Marval
In & Out of Fashion In & Out of Fashion In & Out of Fashion In & Out of Fashion In & Out of Fashion

William Klein

In & Out of Fashion
éditions du Seuil
Moscou Moscou Moscou Moscou Moscou

William Klein

Moscou
Die Zeit
Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome

William Klein

Rome
éditions du Seuil
Life is Good and Good for You in New York. Trance Witness Revels Life is Good and Good for You in New York. Trance Witness Revels Life is Good and Good for You in New York. Trance Witness Revels Life is Good and Good for You in New York. Trance Witness Revels Life is Good and Good for You in New York. Trance Witness Revels

William Klein

Life is Good and Good for You in New York. Trance Witness Revels
édition du Seuil

William Klein was born in New York city in 1928. After graduating early from high school, he began studying sociology at the City College of New York. in 1946 he joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany, where he won his first camera in a poker game. After relocating to Paris in 1948, he continued his studies at the sorbonne with the assistance of the G.i. Bill. At the time, his focus was abstract painting and sculpture, which he studied under Fernand Léger. Klein’s early career breaks came from two exhibitions in Milan, where he was discovered by the architect Angelo Mangiarotti. They began to collaborate when Mangiarotti asked Klein to recreate once of his abstract paintings on the rotating room dividers of a Milanese apartment—his first commissioned work. It was the experience of documenting these panels in motion that lead him to reconsider photography. > Read more

in 1954, Alexander Liberman—then the art director of American vogue—asked to meet with Klein after seeing his kinetic sculptures in the paris group show, "Le salon des réalitiés nouvelles". Subsequently, Vogue published his photographs of Dutch barns, reminiscent of Mondrian, soon after their meeting. Thus began his foray into fashion photography, as well as his well-known photographic essays on various cities. Shooting for Vogue during a brief return to New York , Klein let loose on the city, taking fashion photography in a whole new direction. He captured the beautiful and the grotesque all within wide-angle and telephoto shots. Taking models down into the streets, his revolutionary techniques pioneered a new vision.

Widely acknowledged as a signficant innovator in the history and design of the photo book, Klein published his first book "Life is Good and Good For You in New York" in 1956, and won the prix Nadar the following year. Capturing the rough and tumble of daily life, Klein’s brutally honest images caused a major sensation. Three more books were published, each with photographs from a different city: Rome, Moscow and Tokyo.

In 1958, Klein began to explore the moving image, creating his first pop film, "Broadway by Light", in 1958. He went on to produce feature films and documentaries including a satire about the fashion world, "Qui-Êtes vous Polly Maggoo?" (1966); "Muhammad Ali", and "The Greatest" (1969). His last film to date, "Messiah" (1999), reveals on an epic scale a summary of the themes present throughout his artistic career.

The recipient of numerous awards, Klein was honored with a commander of Arts and Letters in France in 1989, the medal of the century by the Royal Photographic Society in London in 1999, the international center of photography Infinity Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2007, and the outstanding contribution to photography Award at the 2012 Sony World photography Awards. Works by William Klein are included in the collections of such institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Klein lives and works in Paris, France. 

Exhibitions at Polka Galerie

Exhibitions at Polka Galerie

Tokyo 1961 + KLEIN Tokyo 1961 + KLEIN Tokyo 1961 + KLEIN Tokyo 1961 + KLEIN Tokyo 1961 + KLEIN

William Klein

Tokyo 1961 + KLEIN
March 7 - May 9, 2015
Brooklyn + William Klein Brooklyn + William Klein Brooklyn + William Klein Brooklyn + William Klein Brooklyn + William Klein

William Klein

Brooklyn + William Klein
March 22 - May 24, 2014
Itinérances Itinérances Itinérances Itinérances Itinérances

William Klein

Itinérances
May 27 - July 30, 2011
Ali + Klein Ali + Klein Ali + Klein Ali + Klein Ali + Klein

William Klein

Ali + Klein
November 19, 2010 - February 19, 2011
Action Action Action Action Action

William Klein

Action
March 11 - June 5, 2010
William Klein & Cie William Klein & Cie William Klein & Cie William Klein & Cie William Klein & Cie

William Klein

William Klein & Cie
June 4 - August 8, 2009
Collective Exhibition Collective Exhibition Collective Exhibition Collective Exhibition Collective Exhibition

William Klein

Collective Exhibition "Terre des îles"
January 25th - March 3rd 2018
William Klein Exhibition William Klein Exhibition William Klein Exhibition William Klein Exhibition William Klein Exhibition

William Klein

William Klein Exhibition "William+Klein" Retrospective
March 24th - May 26th 2018

Selected Exhibitions

Selected Exhibitions

WIlliam Klein

Festival Foto, Istanbul, 2014

Retrospective

William Klein + Daido Moriyama

Tate Modern, London, UK, 2012

ROMA + KLEIN

Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France, 2002

Réalités

Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France, 2008

Italie double vision

Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France, 2007

Rétrospective

Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, 2005

William Klein

Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France, 2002

William Klein

Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA, 1995

Rétrospective

Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, 1983

50 years of VOGUE

Musée Jacquemart André, Paris, France, 1982

William Klein

Museum of Modern Art, New York, Etats-Unis, 1980

Photography of the Fifties: An American Perspective

ICP, New York, USA, 1980

Selected Publications

Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo

William Klein

Tokyo
Zokeisha Publication
Brooklyn + Klein Brooklyn + Klein Brooklyn + Klein Brooklyn + Klein Brooklyn + Klein

William Klein

Brooklyn + Klein
ÉDITIONS CONTRASTO
Paintings, etc. Paintings, etc. Paintings, etc. Paintings, etc. Paintings, etc.

William Klein

Paintings, etc.
éditions Contrasto
Films Films Films Films Films

William Klein

Films
Éditions Marval
Roma + Klein Roma + Klein Roma + Klein Roma + Klein Roma + Klein

William Klein

Roma + Klein
éditions du Chêne
Contacts Contacts Contacts Contacts Contacts

William Klein

Contacts
éditions Contrasto
Rétrospective Rétrospective Rétrospective Rétrospective Rétrospective

William Klein

Rétrospective
éditions Contrasto
Paris + Klein Paris + Klein Paris + Klein Paris + Klein Paris + Klein

William Klein

Paris + Klein
éditions Marval
New York 1954 - 55 New York 1954 - 55 New York 1954 - 55 New York 1954 - 55 New York 1954 - 55

William Klein

New York 1954 - 55
éditions Marval
In & Out of Fashion In & Out of Fashion In & Out of Fashion In & Out of Fashion In & Out of Fashion

William Klein

In & Out of Fashion
éditions du Seuil
Moscou Moscou Moscou Moscou Moscou

William Klein

Moscou
Die Zeit
Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome

William Klein

Rome
éditions du Seuil
Life is Good and Good for You in New York. Trance Witness Revels Life is Good and Good for You in New York. Trance Witness Revels Life is Good and Good for You in New York. Trance Witness Revels Life is Good and Good for You in New York. Trance Witness Revels Life is Good and Good for You in New York. Trance Witness Revels

William Klein

Life is Good and Good for You in New York. Trance Witness Revels
édition du Seuil

Press

William Klein Polka #29

Polka Magazine #29

William Klein : l'oeil absolu

Marianne Blog, march 2015

William Klein : Brooklyn Digital

Polka #25, mars 2014

William Klein : Klein d'oeil

L'Express, march 26th, 2014

William Klein : Klein-Moriyama, le choc des titans

Polka #19, août 2011

William Klein : Kiss Bill

Polka #13, mai 2011

William Klein : Rebelles

Polka #11, novembre 2010

William Klein : Muhammad Ali

Polka #11, novembre 2010

William Klein : Trois photographies sur un plateau

Polka #8, février 2010

William Klein : Par William Klein

Polka #5, mai 2009