The numerous faces of William Klein
The photographer and filmmaker’s exhibition at the ICP in New York celebrates the multifaceted nature of his practice over the course of nearly seven decades
Held at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York, William Klein: YES – Photographs, Paintings, Films 1948-2013, is the first solo exhibition in the US on William Klein in several decades – an artist who fit the bill of ‘multidisclinary creative’ long before the term became trendy. It is the product of a decade-long journey between Klein, now in his nineties, and the ICP’s curator-at-large, David Campany, who together mined the depths of Klein’s rich archive built over the course of nearly 70 years.
The exhibition of almost 300 works is loosely organised according to chronological order, a necessary backbone to present his otherwise fluid creative practice. He dealt in disciplines such as photography (fashion, street), filmmaking (feature, documentary), graphic design and painting, each cascading into new styles and methods that resist categorisation, running counter to the way in which most people instinctively want to place people in neat boxes. It’s in this spirit that the name of the exhibition was chosen by Klein, a nod to his persistent, even stubborn, approach to experimentation.