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William Klein (1928-2022) : Galerie Le Réverbère : Klein + l’Atelier



The gallery Le Réverbère continues its 40th anniversary with a firework display of 100 photographs by William Klein : 8 painted contacts, B&W from all his great stories, many of them unpublished, carefully chosen with his assistants in his studio. The gallery shared this text :

With KLEIN + L’ATELIER we celebrate 30 years of companionship with Klein, his 94th birthday, and our 40th anniversary!
40 years of gallery, what a beautiful adventure! Words will never suffice to give substance to this length of time. Maybe a fragment will convey more than the entirety, which in itself is difficult to summarize. Our dialogue with William Klein for the past 30 years is a distillation of our journey.

With this exceptional exhibition, which we have been preparing for the last 3 years, we are offering a rather personal perspective allowing the public to travel within the intimacy of his œuvre. In a 1990 phone conversation, Klein asked Catherine Derioz “Why do you wish to exhibit my art?” to which Catherine answered “To us, you are one of the fathers of contemporary photography” Klein replied “When are you coming to Paris?” and this is how our partnership started in February 1991.

This first exhibition in December 1991 celebrated the 10 year anniversary of our gallery. We were not yet aware that we were engaging into a genuine partnership with William. With hindsight, we realized how lucky we had been back then: We were exhibiting about a hundred B&W and color photographs, and also premiering about ten painted contacts dating back to the beginning of his career.

For this project, we proposed to William and his assistants to open the doors of his workshop to us to choose only prints made in the laboratory installed on site. Over the course of the discoveries, a selection imposed itself . Many unpublished photographs and painted contacts will be shown, as well as icons that run through all of Klein’s major subjects.

94 photos will be exhibited to celebrate his 94th birthday in April 2022! A nod to the elegant way he accompanied us on the occasion of the gallery’s milestone anniversaries. For the 25th birthday, by offering us a superb portrait of the two of us, or for the 30th birthday by lending himself in a very nice way to the game of the selection of his works by 10 of our collectors.

This exhibition is a reflection of our commitment to photography, of our way of working in depth and in confidence, over time, to apprehend a work, to refine and share our choices for the benefit of an immersion in the work of an artist.

A selection of cheerfully beautiful photographs depicting children in the streets shows a gentle look from William. This is often overshadowed by a too rapid reading which favors the apparent harshness due to the presence of a grin or a weapon. And yet a careful look reveals the complicity of the photographer and his model.


Klein + l’Atelier
From March 12 to July 30, 2022
Galerie Le Réverbère
38 rue Burdeau 69001 Lyon

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