William Klein - Photographs New York Friday, April 5, 2024 | Phillips
  • In the 1950s William Klein took to the streets of his native New York to capture the city as it whirled by. With an artistic background, but no formal photography training, he sought to capture the chaos and energy of urban life. Intentionally grainy, blurred, and often with high contrast, Klein’s early street photographs exude an unpolished style that was more in line with tabloid photography, which he looked to with great admiration, than it was to the fine art photography standards of the era. This bold break with convention became a foundational approach to his photography that would inform his celebrated fashion work (see lot 407)  beginning in the 1950s as well as his later work in film. 


    • Provenance

      Directly from the artist, 1970s
      Private Collection, Switzerland

    • Literature

      Klein, Life Is Good and Good for You in New York, pl. 88, pp. 174-175
      Klein, New York, 1954.55, pp. 246-247


First Avenue, January

Gelatin silver print, printed 1977.
10 3/8 x 14 5/8 in. (26.4 x 37.1 cm)
Signed and dated '1977' in pencil on the verso.

Full Cataloguing

$7,000 - 9,000 

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Chairwoman, Americas


New York Auction 5 April 2024