William Klein, Buffet champêtre, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Paris, 2000
William Klein, Ciné poster, Tokyo, 1961
William Klein, Candy Store, New York, 1955
Lorenzo Vitturi, Red Cotisso, Green Pigment, Wood in Arìn, Caminantes, 2019
William Klein, Big face, Big buttons, New York, 1955
William Klein, Gun 1, New York, 1954
William Klein, 4 têtes, fête de Thanksgiving, Broadway & 33rd, New York, 1954



from April 16 to July 24, 2016

His work changed the course of photographic history. In 1954, William Klein (born 1928), until then a painter, walked the streets of New York with a camera. He revolutionized the approach to portraiture. Abolishing the distance then required between the photographer and the individual crossed in the street, he takes us into the grain of the film and that of the skin: a plunge into both the photographic and human matter. The exhibition, presented in the exceptional setting of the Abbey of Saint-Ouen, revisits this great name in photography, proposing to survey the major axes of a dense body of work, entirely immersed in an urban and cosmopolitan twentieth century. The essential series produced in New York, Moscow, Tokyo, Rome and Paris are presented for the first time in Normandy, after the retrospectives held at the Tate Modern in London (2012) and FOAM, Amsterdam (2014). His filmic and painted work are also evoked, as well as his fashion photography, for a complete portrait of the multiple figures of the Klein artist.

The exhibition William Klein, Figure(s) of the Century has been labeled and supported by the Normandie Impressionniste Festival. It has also received the support of the Fondation Flaubert – Université de Rouen Normandie, the MATMUT and the laboratories Picto and Janvier.

Around the exhibition

Friday, April 15, starting at 6pm
In the presence of William Klein

Saturdays April 30, May 21, June 25, 4 pm
Sundays, June 12 and July 17, 11 am

Friday, July 1, 10 pm
At the Saint-Ouen Abbey
Who are you Polly Maggoo, William Klein, 1966

Saturday, July 2, 2pm
In the auditorium of the Rouen Museum of Fine Arts
With Stéphane Sednaoui, video artist, Magali Sizorn and Baptiste Cléret sociologists / IRIHS
and Raphaëlle Stopin, curator of the exhibition

Saturday, July 2nd, 4pm
In the auditorium of the Rouen Museum of Fine Arts
David Campany, critic and art historian

Sunday June 12, 2pm
Meeting point at the Saint-Ouen abbey