Wiliam Klein - Série de 5 litografias
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William Klein (born April 19, 1928) is an American-born French photographer and filmmaker noted for his ironic approach to both media and his extensive use of unusual photographic techniques in the context ofphotojournalism and fashion photography. He was ranked 25th on Professional Photographer's list of 100 most influential photographers.
Klein trained as a painter, studying under Fernand Léger and found early success with exhibitions of his work. He soon moved on to photography and achieved widespread fame as a fashion photographer for Vogue and for hisphoto essays on various cities. He has directed feature-length fiction films, numerous short and feature-length documentaries and has produced over 250 television commercials.
He has been awarded the Prix Nadar in 1957, the Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship (HonFRPS) in 1999, and the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award at the Sony World Photography Awards in 2012.
An international jury at Photokina 1963 voted William Klein one of the 30 most
important photographers in the medium's history. He became famous in Europe
immediately upon publication of his strikingly intense book of photographs, Life Is
Good for You in New York - William Klein Trance Witness Revels, for which he
won the Prix Nadar in 1956. Klein's visual language made an asset out of accident,
graininess, blur, and distortion. He has described his work as "a crash course in what
was not to be done in photography." Klein employed a wide-angle lens, fast film, and
novel framing and printing procedures to make images in a fragmented, anarchic
mode that emphasized raw immediacy and highlighted the photographer's presence in
Among Klein's other books (for which he did the design, typography, covers, and
texts) are expressive portraits of Rome, Moscow, and Tokyo. His influence upon
other photographers since the late 1950s has been underground but pervasive.
Born and raised in New York, Klein graduated from high school at age 14 and
subsequently studied sociology at City College of the City of New York. After two
years in the United States Army, where he worked as an army newspaper cartoonist,
he attended the Sorbonne, Paris, on the G. I. Bill. He studied painting briefly with
Fernand Léger and has lived in Paris since 1948, working as a painter, graphic
designer, photographer, and filmmaker.
Klein exhibited throughout Europe as a painter, producing abstract murals for French
and Italian architects. He first photographed his murals in motion in 1952 and began
experimenting with the medium. He was very much influenced at this time by the
work of Man Ray, Alexander Rodchenko, the Dadaists, and the Bauhaus.
Klein revisited New York in 1954 and began his documentation of the city, hurling
himself into the urban chaos. He worked in direct opposition to the model of
elegance and discretion he saw in the images of Henri Cartier-Bresson. >From 1955
to 1965, Klein produced bizarrely original fashion photography for Vogue and
other publications. His employer at Vogue, Alexander Liberman, wrote, "In the
fashion pictures of the fifties, nothing like Klein had happened before. He went to
extremes, which took a combination of great ego and courage. He pioneered the
telephoto and wide-angle lenses, giving us a new perspective. He took fashion out of
the studio and into the streets ......
Klein first took up filmmaking in 1958. In 1965, he abandoned still photography to
concentrate on films for the cinema and television. His best known works in this
medium are Cassius the Great (a film on Muhammad Ali) and Loin du Vietnam,
on which he collaborated with directors Alain Resnais, Jean-Luc Godard, and others.
He has completed over 20 films in the last 25 years.
Klein has exhibited throughout the world at Fuji Gallery, Tokyo; Stedelijk Museum,
Amsterdam; Photokina, Cologne; and The International Center of Photography and
the Witkin Gallery, New York. He was honored in 1978 at the Arles Festival
International. An exhibition of his early work was held at the Museum of Modern
Art, New York, in 1980-1981, at which time John Szarkowski wrote: "Klein's
photographs of twenty years ago were perhaps the most uncompromising of their
time. They were the boldest and superficially the most scrofulous - the most
distanced from the accepted standards of formal quality .... They really extend what
life can look like in pictures. They enlarge the vocabulary."
Klein was the subject of an Aperture monograph in 1981. He returned to still
photography part-time in 1978 and continues to live and work in Paris.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Photography (1984)