William Klein

Galerie Zabriskie

After 45 years as an American in Paris, photographer William Klein speaks an effortless, nearly accentless French, but he still expresses himself with the brashness, the humor, and the ironic edge of a native New Yorker. There is something of the same incongruous mix in his photographs. For all that has been made of his iconoclastic subjects and shooting style—the wide-angle distortions, the grainy images, the multiple exposures, the camera movement that have always been his trademark—the image itself is communicated with the elegant formalism of a painter.

Klein himself makes no secret of the fact that he came to Paris to study painting and that he was profoundly influenced by his studies with Fernand Léger in the late ’40s. In fact, Klein seems to have spent all of three weeks in Léger’s workshop, but this was enough to get him into the street with a camera, to make him conceive

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