This exhibition highlights a selection of Newton’s extremely rare oversized prints of both iconic and lesser known works from the 1960’s to 1980’s, including Big Nude III, Henrietta, 1980, Two Pairs of Legs in Black Stockings, 1979 and Tied up Torso, Ramatuelie, 1980.
The doyen of fashion’s dark side, Newton fundamentally changed the face of fashion photography, introducing a blend of drama, sex and style, which shaped not only magazine imagery but fashion itself. Regarded as provocative and scandalous in their time, the pieces exhibited in this show represent a stylistic change in Newton’s work. Taken between 1974 and 1981, these pieces reflect the dawn of the contemporary woman in their role as leaders rather than followers. Striding confidently in only their high heels, they relish in the resplendence and vivacity of their bodies and parade, both individually as well as in groups, toward the onlooker.
‘Helmut is certainly the photographer of women. The picture that he makes of them is, however, not necessarily the same that men expect. In his own way he has changed the erotic fantasy of our age or at least has strongly influenced it. His influence here goes much further than he originally intended. He is a kind of sorcerer’s apprentice for the picture of women in our time. The secret consists of a hard-to-define mixture of distance and willingness of his women.’ Karl Lagerfeld.
Newton, born in Berlin in 1920, commenced his photographic career at sixteen working for renowned Berlin photographer, Yva. At eighteen he emigrated to Australia then moved to Paris in 1957. There he began work as a fashion photographer and his images regularly appeared in magazines including, most notably, Vogue. His work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions and is permanently enshrined in many institutional collections and the Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin. Awards include the German Große Bundesverdienstkreuz, the French Grand Prix national de la photographie and the World Image Award.