AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS. A retrospective exhibit at Foam in Amsterdam is currently showcasingthe work of photographer, painter, and filmmaker William Klein. Klein is most famous for his street photography of New York City in the 1950s. He consistently worked with street photography, producing books from his travels in Rome, Tokyo, Paris, and Moscow.
He was hired by Vogue, having never worked for fashion, and thus developed unique and creative fashion photography, that is also on display. He further worked with abstract photography and painting. The exhibit features original large-scale prints and negatives that Klein painted on top of. He also produced films and documentaries, and he was the director of over 250 commercials. Samples of these are shown in a mini theatre on the top of the museum.
His photos are grainy and usually capture the realism and mood of the time. His photography books include Life is Good and Good for You in New York-Trance Witness Revels, New York, Rome, Moscow, Tokyo. His films include Who Are You, Polly Magoo, Cassius the Great, Le Couple Témoin, and Mr. Freedom. Previously this year, the Tate Museum in London held a retrospective exhibit.
Klein joined the Allies Forces during the Second World War. He moved to Paris after the war and studied with Fernand Léger. There he met the art director of the American version of Vogue, Alexander Liberman, who ended up hiring him. One set of famous photos he did for Vogue consists of two models walking by each other in a New York crosswalk. The other people in the pictures are natural, and aren’t aware that a photo is being taken.
Foam consists of a museum in Amsterdam, which holds exhibitions for the public. The museum occupies two joined canal houses, and is modern. The décor changes with the exhibit (the walls were painted red for the Klein exhibit). Exhibits span three floors. A café occupies the ground floor. There is also a Library on the third floor, with 2000 to 3000 photo books, and a bookstore on the ground floor. Foam Magazine is an international magazine produced quarterly. Foam Editions is a subsection that offers photography for collection.
The exhibit is open from December 20th to March 12th 2014. Wi-fi is free. Adult tickets cost 9,50 euros, and Student and 65+ tickets cost 7,00 euros.
Foam Photography Museum
1017 DS Amsterdam
Tel. +31 (0)20 5516500
Hours: Sat to Wed 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Thur to Fri 10:00 am to 9:00 pm