William Klein in Foam: a unique retrospective exhibition of the work

Foam finishes 2013 with a unique retrospective exhibition of the work of William Klein. The entire museum will be dedicated to the life and work of this legendary photographer, filmmaker and designer.  The career of William Klein (b. 1928) spans more than sixty years. His work had an immense influence on photography during the second half of the twentieth century. The exhibition gives ample coverage to Klein’s ground-breaking work in New York in the 1950s while also displaying work made in Rome, Moscow and Tokyo. His work for Vogue shows Klein was a great innovator in the field of fashion photography. In addition to his early experiments with abstract photography, his large-scale, painted-on contact prints that he’s been creating in more recent years will also be on view in Foam. A selection of Klein’s feature films and documentaries will be shown in Foam’s 3h library space. This exceptional William Klein retrospective exhibition has been curated by Foam and can be seen exclusively in Amsterdam.


In 1956, William Klein turned the photographic conventions of his day upside-down with his book Life is Good for You in New York – Trance Witness Revels. He revealed a society that didn’t match America’s image of itself. The controversial book was revolutionary, its photography as well as its subject matter, and over the years it’s never lost its power. Between 1956 and 1964, in a period of eight years, William Klein produced four city books that completely unsettled the still-young photographic traditions. New YorkRomeMoscow and Tokyo are filled with grainy, brusque photos which depict the four cities in a way that had never been seen before. His images of life in these cities have a ruthless realism and at the same time visually reverberate the psychological, social and economic mood of that time. These books, and New York in particular, has had an unprecedented influence on subsequent generations of photographers and designers of photo books.

William Klein will be present at the opening of the exhibition on Thursday, 19 December 2013.


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