William Klein + Daido Moriyama is the first exhibition to examine the relationship between the work of William Klein (b.1928), one of the twentieth century’s most important photographers and film-makers, and that of Daido Moriyama (b.1938), the most celebrated photographer to emerge from the Japanese Provoke movement. Taking as its central theme the cities of New York and Tokyo, William Klein + Daido Moriyama explores both artists’ celebrated depictions of modern urban life.
The exhibition is formed of two retrospectives side by side, bringing together over 300 works, including vintage prints, contact sheets, film stills, photographic installations and archival material. The influence of Klein’s seminal 1956 publication Life is Good & Good for You in New York, Trance Witness Revels, as well as his later books Tokyo 1964 and Rome: The City and Its People 1959, is traced through Moriyama’s radical depictions of post-war Tokyo in Sayonara Photography and The Hunter 1972. The juxtaposition of these artists not only demonstrates the visual affinity between their urgent, blurred and grainy style of photography, but also their shared desire to convey street life and political protest, from anti-war demonstrations and student protests to the effects of globalisation and urban deprivation.
This exhibition also considers the medium and dissemination of photography itself, exploring the central role of the photo-book in avant-garde photography and the pioneering use of graphic design within these publications. As well the issues of Provoke magazine in which Moriyama and his contemporaries showcased their work, the exhibition includes fashion photography from Klein’s work with Vogue and installations relating to his satirical films Mister Freedom and Who Are You Polly Maggoo? New ways of presenting photography are also demonstrated by Moriyama’s installation Polaroid/Polaroid 1997, which recreates his studio interior through a meticulous arrangement of Polaroid images.
William Klein was born in New York, USA in 1928 and now lives and works in Paris, France. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held at the Centre Pompidou, Paris and the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh and he received the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award at the 2012 Sony World Photography Awards. Daido Moriyama was born in Osaka, Japan in 1938 and moved to Tokyo in 1961, where he continues to live and work. He was recently given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Centre of Photography and his work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Cartier Foundation, Paris; and The National Museum of Art, Osaka.
William Klein + Daido Moriyama is co-curated by Simon Baker, Curator of Photography and International Art, Tate, and Juliet Bingham, Curator, Tate Modern, with Kasia Redzisz, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern. The exhibition is accompanied by new books about both photographers from Tate Publishing. A season of film screenings at Tate Modern is also being held to coincide with the exhibition, showing Klein’s feature films and documentaries.