The career of American expatriate artist William Klein defies easy categorization. For more than fifty years, he has worked as a painter, photographer, and filmmaker from his adopted hometown of Paris. Although he began his life as a painter, creating abstract canvases inspired by his mentor, Fernand Léger, Klein subsequently took up the camera to document the world around him. He achieved early recognition as a photographer after winning the prestigious Prix Nadar in 1956 for a book that chronicled the city of his birth, New York, in gritty detail. His subjects since then have varied widely. During the 1960s, for example, he split his attention between fashion work for Vogue and a more politically engaged project recording antiwar and civil rights demonstrations. As he later told ARTnews on the eve of a major retrospective at New York's International Center of Photography, "I have always experimented with new ways of doing things."
Gelatin silver print with overpainting, 1993
Published March 1993
William Klein; courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York City
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