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William Klein Furniture

American, 1926-2022

American photographer William Klein continually channeled the zeitgeist through his oeuvre, imbuing his photography with startling honesty and empathy, as well as his own particular brand of abstraction. The portraits, scenes and scenarios resemble windows into a world where reality has begun to warp, sometimes dreamily, other times more emphatically, so that snapshot moments are strangely portentous or full of possibility.

Klein was best known for his early fashion shots and arresting street photography, capturing, with candor and humanity, life in cities around the world, including Rome, Moscow, Tokyo and Paris. His gritty and grainy images of 1950s New York are widely considered his most powerful, documenting the underbelly of a growing metropolis, with his focus set on the energy and multidimensional nature of postwar culture. In his 1955 image Selwyn Theatre, 42nd Street, New York, for example, Klein contrasted the gleaming silhouette of a car with the faded-out forms of a group of young men about town, creating strong graphic patterns that suggest a sense of abandon and opportunity.

Klein’s aesthetic, however, is not easy to summarize, since he demonstrated an eager embrace of experimentation through the decades. Early street shots are often out of focus and taken at unexpected angles, while his 1960s fashion shots and celebrity portraits for Vogue’s American, French and British editions are sleek and subtly Surrealist, pioneering a new style that put the spotlight on the beauty of the composition rather than the allure of the clothes, as seen in Smoke and Veil (1956) and his 1961 portrait of Anouk Aimée for Paris Vogue.

In addition to photography, Klein explored painting, filmmaking, graphic design and publishing, adopting a polymathic attitude to the arts. Klein began his career as a painter under the tutelage of French abstractionist Fernand Léger, having moved to Paris in 1948. The experience opened his mind to the possibilities of manipulated form, specifically the illusionary effects achieved through the playful arrangement of light and shadow.

A commission from 1952 was instrumental in his side step into photography. Having created a painted room divider for an architect, Klein took photographs of the rotating piece. His delight in the fragmented shapes created by the movement prompted him to make thousands of abstract photograms by applying shifting geometrical forms on photographic paper during long exposures.

Indeed, the unorthodox mixture of disorder and imperfection, along with beauty and energy, remained a constant in his work, as evidenced by such unconventionally arresting images as Candy Store, Amsterdam Avenue, New York (1955), Independence Day Parade, Dakar (1963) and Black Venus West Indian Day Parade, Brooklyn, New York (2013). Among Klein’s most famous celluloid achievements is his 1964 documentary Cassius the Great, dedicated to a young Muhammad Ali in the run up to his fight with Sonny Liston.

In fact, many of Klein’s photographs and films have a strong sociopolitical dimension, although they were not intended as acts of propaganda. Instead, they raised awareness about conditions of flux, antagonism, hope and change, especially among African American and minority communities as they navigated times of change. This is exemplified by vibrant shots like Easter Sunday, Harlem High Hat, New York and Moves and Pepsi, Harlem, both featured in the self-designed and self-published seminal tome New York: 1954.55.

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Creator: William Klein
New York: 1954.55, William Klein, 1st Edition, Dewi Lewis, 1995
By William Klein
Located in London, GB
First edition, published by Dewi Lewis Publishing, Manchester, 1995. When William Klein's images of New York first appeared in 1956 they ushered ...
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1990s British William Klein Furniture

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Paper

in and Out of Fashion, William Klein, 1st Edition, Jonathan Cape, 1994
By William Klein
Located in London, GB
First Edition, published by Jonathan Cape, London, 1994. This truly amazing book, published to accompany an exhibition at the International Center of Photography in New York, collects the fashion work of legendary photographer William Klein. Showing his early and inventive work for Vogue and others as he explored and developed styles and techniques, we can see a different side to his work than his radical street photography, and how that in turn would feed back into his fashion work and film work through the years. Covering a broad span of his career with fashion and Classic, subversive films like 'Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?' and 'Mister Freedom...
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1990s British William Klein Furniture

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Paper

Paris + Klein, William Klein, 1st US Edition, D.A.P., 2003
By William Klein
Located in London, GB
First US Edition, published by D.A.P. / Distributed Art Publishers, New York, 2003. Text in English. This first US edition of William Klein's dynamic and influential portrait of t...
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Early 2000s American William Klein Furniture

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Paper

Parigi + Klein, William Klein, 1st Italian Edition, Contrasto, 2002
By William Klein
Located in London, GB
First Italian Edition, published by Contrasto, Rome, 2002. Text in Italian. This Italian edition of William Klein's dynamic and influential portrait of the city of Paris is a stun...
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Early 2000s Italian William Klein Furniture

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Paper

MMV Romani, William Klein, 1st Edition, Contrasto, 2005
By William Klein
Located in London, GB
First edition, published by Contrasto, Rome, 2005. Text in English and Italian. This English and Italian language photobook from William Klein sees him revisit the Rome that he im...
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Early 2000s Italian William Klein Furniture

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Paper

Mister Freedom, William Klein, 1st Edition, Korinsha Press, 1998
By William Klein
Located in London, GB
First Edition, published by Korinsha Press, Japan, 1998. Text in Japanese and with some English headings. A brilliant Japanese photobook of stills, designs and behind the scenes images from William Klein's classic anti-imperialist superhero satire, 'Mister Freedom...
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1990s Japanese Post-Modern William Klein Furniture

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Paper

Messiah 1999 French Grande Film Poster
By William Klein
Located in New York, NY
Original 1999 French grande poster by William Klein for the documentary film Messiah directed by William Klein with Charlotte Hellekant / Lynne Dawson / ...
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1990s French William Klein Furniture

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Paper

Contacts - William Klein - First Edition, Contrasto, 2008
By William Klein
Located in London, GB
First edition, published by Contrasto, Rome, 2008. Traditionally, a contact sheet has been a working document, annotated for edits and decision making, and seldom displayed, but as ...
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Early 2000s Italian William Klein Furniture

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Paper

William Klein Portfolio Magazine (photography)
By William Klein
Located in Brooklyn, NY
William Klein, portfolio magazine. Special edition. 110 pages, 1997. Softcover. 11x14 inches. Some very minor wear otherwise excellent condition. A retrospective of photographs by...
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1960s Vintage William Klein Furniture

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Paper

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“Spoon” Industrial Design Steel Covered Book, Phaidon Press – 1st Edition
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Previously Available Items
Torino '90, William Klein, 1st Edition, Federico Motta Editore, 1990
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First Edition, published by Federico Motta Editore, Milan, 1990. Text in Italian. Itinerant photographer, satirist, and documenter of the life of cities, William Klein here turns ...
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William Klein, Photographs, John Heilpern, 1st Edition, Aperture, 1981
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1990s North American William Klein Furniture

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H 13.39 in W 17.33 in D 0.4 in
William Klein Rome
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First revised and expanded edition, published by Thames and Hudson, 2009 William Klein’s Rome is more than a street photographer’s portrayal of a city. Rome knows it’s being photo...
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Early 2000s British William Klein Furniture

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H 1.58 in W 13.78 in D 10.24 in
"William Klein" Photophiles
By William Klein
Located in London, GB
Published by Pacific Press Service, 1991 A retrospective compilation, published on the occasion of a 1987 retrospective exhibition of Klein's works and then revised in 1991 to inc...
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Late 20th Century Japanese William Klein Furniture

  • "William Klein" Photophiles
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  • "William Klein" Photophiles
  • "William Klein" Photophiles
H 11.42 in W 11.82 in D 0.4 in

William Klein furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

William Klein furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of paper and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of William Klein furniture, although black editions of this piece are particularly popular. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Andries & Hiroko van Onck, Ugo Nespolo, and Rexite. Prices for William Klein furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $83 and can go as high as $641, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $163.

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