“The first U.S. exhibition devoted to Klein’s work in more than a generation, William Klein: YES; Photographs, Paintings, Films, 1948–2013 will fill ICP’s entire museum space and spans Klein’s career from a studio assistant to Fernand Léger in Paris in 1948 through photographing Brooklyn in 2013.”
Street photographer. Fashion photographer. Painter. Graphic designer. Abstract artist. Writer. Filmmaker. Book maker. Few have transformed as many fields of art and culture as William Klein. From his wildly inventive photographic studies of New York, Rome, Moscow, and Tokyo to bold and witty fashion photographs; from cameraless abstract photography to iconic celebrity portraits; from documentary films about Muhammad Ali, Little Richard, and the Pan-African Festival of Algiers to fiction films about the beauty industry, imperialism, and consumer culture, Klein has made every form and genre his own. Through it, all runs his distinct graphic energy and deep affection for humanity’s struggles through the chaos of modern life.
About the Author
Born in Manhattan in 1928, Klein visited the city’s art museums as a teenager and longed to get to Europe. By 1948 he was in Paris where he studied at the Sorbonne, worked briefly under artist Fernand Léger, and where he has lived ever since. For decades he juggled commercial assignments around the world with personal projects in photography, film, painting, and publishing. His output was prodigious. There were few exhibitions until the late 1980s when he began to look back at his achievements. Gaining the admiration of younger generations, he returned to the fashion world and continued to make groundbreaking films and photobooks.
About the Curator
David Campany is a curator, writer, and Curator-at-Large at the International Center of Photography, New York. His books include On Photographs (2020), A Handful of Dust (2015), Art and Photography (2003), Jeff Wall: Picture for Women (2011), Walker Evans: The Magazine Work (2014), and Photography and Cinema (2008).
About the book
Directed by Klein himself, from the selection of content to book design, this large-format publication looks back at his uncompromisingly creative lifetime, showcasing Klein’s prolific and relentlessly innovative contribution to the world of photography, art, design, and filmmaking. Published in association with the major retrospective at the International Center of Photography, this book is a comprehensive take on his career. This book is a comprehensive take on his career. While best known as a photographer who broke all the rules and conventions, William Klein: Yes focuses on the full range of Klein’s work, from his abstract paintings through to his startling, authentic street photography and photobooks and his dynamic, satirical take on filmmaking. With a flowing, chronological text by David Campany, this book will be both an introduction to William Klein for a new generation and a source of fresh insights for those who already know who William Klein is: a true original.
William Klein: YES Photographs, Paintings, Films, 1948–2013
June 3, 2022 — September 12, 2022
The International Center of Photography