William Klein applies his motto “no rules, no limits, no holding back” to three iconic cities — Paris, New York, and Rome — in a selection of black and white and color prints spanning his decades as one of the most influential and innovative artists in the medium. From iconic works for Vogue like Smoke + Veil, Paris and Anouk Aimee, 1961 to New York street photography, William Klein: Paris + New York + Roma illustrates the pioneering techniques that have distinguished Klein throughout his photographic career.

William Klein(b.1928) was born in New York City. After graduating early from high school, he began studying sociology at the City College of New York. In 1946 he joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany, where he won his first camera in a poker game. After relocating to Paris in 1948, he continued his studies at the Sorbonne with the assistance of the G.I. Bill. At the time, his focus was abstract painting and sculpture. After studying with the French artist Fernand Léger, Klein’s early career breaks came from two exhibitions in Milan, where he was discovered by the architect Angelo Mangiarotti. In 1954, Alexander Liberman—then the art director of American Vogue—asked to meet with Klein after seeing his kinetic sculptures in the Paris group show, Le Salon des Réalitiés Nouvelles. Thus began his foray into fashion photography, as well as his well-known photographic essays on various cities. Shooting for Vogue during a brief return to New York, Klein let loose on the city, taking fashion photography in a whole new direction. He captured the beautiful and the grotesque all within wide-angle and telephoto shots. Taking models out of the studio and onto the streets, his revolutionary techniques pioneered a new vision.

 The recipient of numerous awards, Klein was honored with a Commander of Arts and Letters in France in 1989, the Medal of the Century by the Royal Photographic Society in London in 1999, the International Center of Photography Infinity Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2007, and the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award at the 2012 Sony World Photography Awards. Works by William Klein are included the collections of many institutions, including The Metropolitan Museum  of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles; and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Klein continues to live and work in Paris, France.