On the occasion of its 40th anniversary, the Réverbère gallery in Lyon is devoting an exceptional exhibition to the great American photographer William Klein.
He studied at the Sorbonne
Photographer William Klein, 93, is based in France. A hundred of his pictures are to be discovered until July 23, 2022. The opportunity to immerse yourself in the work of this exceptional artist. The story of William Klein begins in New York where he studied of sociology at the prestigious City College of New York. From 1946 to 1948, he spent two years of military service in the United States Army, as an operator horse radio. In 1947, he went to Paris for the first time, then, in the framework of the G.I. Bill to help veterans, resumes studies in sociology at the Sorbonne, in the heart of the Latin Quarter, in 1948. He joins a group of demobilized Americans and French like him whose painter Ellsworth Kelly. The same year he falls in love with Jeanne Florin, whom he marries and with whom he lives and works for more than fifty years. Painter and graphic designer He spent some time in André Lhote’s studio then between in that of the artist Fernand Léger, “fantastic painter, anti-brushstrokes, which has nothing to do with modes, galleries and collectors.
Influenced by Robert Capa
In the early 1950s, William Klein became interested in sculpture and kinetic art; he travels to Milan and collaborates with the architect Italian Angelo Mangiarotti creating murals Hard edge style geometric shapes. At the same time, he tried to various photographic experiments and creations abstract (light drawings, solarizations, photograms…) some of which will be published on the cover of the magazine Italian Domus (1952-61) or used for sleeves of vinyl records. He also tries his hand at designing book models and produces for example the illustrations of a rare version of the Moby Dick by Herman Melville (1955). Applying to the letter the precept of Robert Capa “If your photos are not good, it’s because you’re not close enough”.
A witness of his time
Klein plays with the framing, handles the blur, forces the grain, enhances the movement and promotes extreme contrasts. The street, children, interaction with crowds, billboards, bright neon lights, emulation… and his graphic perception of urban landscapes, make his signature. A witness to his time, William Klein documents the world, crisscrosses the major capitals and dares to get as close as possible to the people he captures from a wide angle. He photographed Moscow in the 1960s, in the midst of the Cold War.
“Klein + l’Atelier”
– Le Réverbère Gallery –
38 rue Burdeau
Wednesday to Saturday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Until July 23, 2022