With that big show at Tate Modern in 2012, it became abundantly clear that William Klein has had one of the most extraordinary and varied careers of his generation. His photobooks on New York, Rome, Tokyo and Moscow are among the most inventive ever made. Many of his documentary and fiction films are landmarks. And, of course, he reinvented fashion photography in the 1950s and 60s at Vogue. Moreover Klein occupies an unusual place in the history of post-war abstraction, moving from paint on canvas to light on photographic paper as early as 1952.
That year Klein produced a maquette for a book of abstract photography that has been published only now. So much happened for him in 1952 that to explain the genesis of this book and where it fits in to his development we have to go back a little further.
A New Yorker, Klein arrived in Paris,