This study of the optical effect of street lamps and car headlights at night glimpsed from a hotel room window was made during the artist’s first return to New York City after his move to Paris in 1949. Hovering between abstraction and representation in its depiction of an urban environment, the picture marks a transitional moment between Klein’s early photograms (featured on the cover of the Italian architectural and design magazine Domus) and the verve of the street photography for which he became well known. Klein soon published a groundbreaking photo-book on his birthplace, Life is Good & Good For You in New York: Trance Witness Revels (1956).
Inscription: Signed and inscribed in pencil on print, verso LL to LR: "Down from my hotel window New York 1954 William Klein"
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Photographs from the 1940s and 1950s: Selections from the Collection," December 18, 1990–March 17, 1991.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Few Are Chosen: Street Photography and the Book, 1936-1966," November 5, 2004–March 6, 2005.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 47," September 20, 2007–January 6, 2008.
Milwaukee Art Museum. "Street Seen: The Psychological Gesture in American Photograph, 1940-1960," January 30, 2010–April 25, 2010.