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William Klein – A Technique of No Taboos


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Watch talk here or listen to the recording below:

This talk gives an insight into the scope of William Klein’s career and why his approach to photography and image-making was pioneering. He is well known for his fashion photography and distinctive gritty style of street photography together with his unconventional approach to subject matter. This talk will consider all aspects of his career including his training as a painter and work with film set against the wider context of art historical developments at the time, particularly Surrealism. Alongside this, the conversation will reference the major William Klein retrospective on show at the International Center for Photography in New York from June to September 2022.

The talk will also explore the relationship between artist and gallery and the long-term friendship between William Klein and Marcus Bury, co-founder of HackelBury Fine Art Gallery.

“I came from the outside, the rules of photography didn’t interest me. There were things you could do with a camera that you couldn’t do with any other medium – grain, contrast, blur, cock-eyed framing, eliminating or exaggerating grey tones and so on…… I thought it would be good to show what’s possible, to say that this is a s valid of a way of using the camera as conventional approaches.” William Klein

Marcus Bury
Marcus Bury co-founded HackelBury Fine Art in 1997. He works closely with artists on their exhibitions, publications and museum projects and with clients on shaping their collections. Marcus has been working closely with William Klein for over 20 years promoting his work and raising his profile. Marcus introduced William Klein’s work to international curators and institutions including David Campany, at the International Center for Photography (ICP) in New York. David Campany is the lead curator for the major retrospective William Klein: YES; Photographs, Paintings, Films, 1948 – 2013 at ICP in New York which opened in June this year. HackelBury was integral in restoring and supplying works to the William Klein Daido Moriyama Tate exhibition in 2012-13. The gallery arranged a William Klein film festival with the Lycée Francais in London and the In Conversation between William Klein and David Campany for Photo London at the National Portrait Gallery in 2017. HackelBury have exhibited William Klein’s work many times and published the William Klein books Paintings etc and Black and Light.

Professor Edward Dimsdale
Edward Dimsdale is Professor of Creative Practice Research at Cambridge School of Visual and Performing Arts (CSVPA). Ed has exhibited his photography widely, and his work is held in public and private collections. Exhibitions include Agulhas at HackelBury Fine Art (London); Picturing Eden, a five-year touring museum show curated by Deborah Klochko for the George Eastman House, Rochester, NY; and Model Love (Arnolfini, Bristol; BAC, London), an intermedial collaboration with experimental theatre company, Bodies in Flight. A photographic publication, Stilled, was published by Stanley Barker in 2017. As a writer on photography, he has contributed to numerous publications, including Hotshoe magazine. He has also written introductory essays for a number of photographic monographs, including Ian Macdonald’s Eton (IM Press, 2007), Lam Pok Yin and Chong Ng’s The Untimely Apparatus of Two Amateur Photographers (Jiazazhi Press, 2019) and Kim Thue’s Lode (Serpent’s tail, 2022). His academic writing includes the joint paper Unsettling Materialities: The Indexical Relationship of Photography and Theatre in Bodies in Flight’s Model Love (2017), for the Journal of Photography and Culture, a collaboration with Professor Simon Jones of Bristol University.

Professor David Hopkins
David Hopkins is Emeritus Professor of Art History and Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow. He has lectured internationally and published numerous books on subjects such as Dada, Surrealism, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst and 1980s art. His study of post-1945 art and photography, After Modern Art 1945-2017, is now in its second edition. His most recent publication is Dark Toys: Surrealism and the Culture of Childhood (Yale UP, 2021). Photography has often been at the centre of his research. He has curated an exhibition on Weegee and written on topics ranging from Man Ray to Douglas Gordon. He is currently working on a study of twentieth-century photography.

Watch the talk here

All images: ©William Klein, Courtesy of HackelBury Fine Art London


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