Tate Modern's double vision: William Klein, Daido Moriyama

Oct 16, 2012

'Exhilarating' new show compares two great photographers of modern urban life

Tate Modern

What you need to know
A dual retrospective featuring the work of the American photographer William Klein and his Japanese contemporary Daido Moriyama has opened at Tate Modern.

William Klein + Daido Moriyama explores modern urban life in New York and Tokyo through the photographs of two men who rose to fame in the 1960s. As well as showing photos from the 1950s to the present day, the Tate presents issues of Provoke magazine, which showcased the work of Moriyama and his contemporaries, along with Klein's satirical films and fashion photography for Vogue.

Runs until 20 January.

What the critics like
This is a tremendous exhibition, says Francis Hodgson in the Financial Times. It keeps the two artists separate, but a clever piece
of exhibition design allows viewers to compare their work over a dividing partition. "It's exhilarating to walk around the space, and that excitement remains long after you leave."

There are dramatic differences in tone and feel, in this show, says Michael Glover in The Independent. "Klein's vision is a
rumbustious, hectic, noisy one from start to finish" while Moriyama's work is "poignantly fleeting, sombre and hauntingly unstable".

Klein's street photographs have a close-up energy, says Nancy Durrant in The Times. From toothy nuns in Rome, to Tokyo street kids or a crowd of Rolling Stones fans in Paris, "you can feel the simmering tensions".  

What they don't like
Both Klein and Moriyama are powerful artistic personalities fascinated by the spectacle of street life in big cities, says Richard Dorment in The Daily Telegraph. But after viewing the "all-embracing humanity" of Klein's work, Moriyama's "nihilistic expressionism" can seem grim and repetitive. "These shows should never have been done together."

Sign up for our daily newsletter