Annenberg Space for Photography Presents Helmut Newton
The Annenberg Space for Photography hasannounced its next installation, Helmut Newton, featuring the work of the revolutionary fashion photographer. Opening on 29th June, this is the first exhibition of Helmut Newton’s work outside of gallery shows in Los Angeles, his long-time winter residence, the organisers say. Images from Newton’s first three books - White Women, Sleepless Nights and Big Nudes - will be on view through 8 September 2013. The Annenberg Space for Photography is located at 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Century City, CA 90067.
Annenberg Space for Photography Press Release
Annenberg Space for Photography Presents
June 29 - September 8, 2013
Exhibit Includes Two Documentary Films with Interviews of the Photographer
LOS ANGELES, CA (April 11, 2013)—The Annenberg Space for Photography today announced its next installation, Helmut Newton, featuring the work of the revolutionary fashion photographer. Opening on Saturday, June 29, 2013, this is the first exhibition of Helmut Newton’s work outside of gallery shows in Los Angeles, his long-time winter residence.
Images from Newton’s first three books - White Women, Sleepless Nights and Big Nudes - will be on view through September 8, 2013. The exhibition was originally organized by Manfred Heiting for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
“Helmut Newton is one of the most powerful and influential photographers of the past century - the place where art and fashion and subversion and aspiration all collide. If Newton’s work was controversial, I believe it’s because he expressed the contradictions within all of us, and particularly within the women he photographed so beautifully: empowerment mixed with vulnerability, sensuality tempered by depravity. Newton deepened our understanding of changing gender roles, of the ways in which beauty creates its own kind of power and corruption. On top of that, his compositions were brilliantly precise, cinematic in their scope and in their storytelling,” says Wallis Annenberg, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation.
The photographs were made specifically for the exhibition and are large-scale - some reaching nearly 8 x 8 feet.
In addition to the more than 125 prints displayed, the exhibit will feature two films about Newton.
Helmut by June, a documentary film shot and directed by June Newton, Newton’s wife of 56 years, goes behind the scenes at several of his photo shoots and provides an intimate look into his private life and the couple’s remarkable relationship. From a photo shoot with Cindy Crawford and Helena Christensen in Saint-Tropez to a conversation with June in the privacy of their room at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, the man behind so many provocative images is revealed.
Additionally, the Annenberg Space for Photography has commissioned an original documentary film from Arclight Productions. The film will examine the legendary photographer’s impact on fashion, on women and on photography - as told by men and women who knew him, worked with him and were influenced by his remarkable vision. Models, stylists, fashion editors, photographers and friends will share unique perspectives on a titan of 20th century fashion photography whose influence lives on.
Key participants in the Arclight Productions film include the “Three Boys from Pasadena” - Mark Arbeit, George Holz and Just Loomis - who were students at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, when they first met Newton in 1979. They served as Newton’s assistants during one of his most prolific periods, each becoming successful photographers in their own right. In 2009, their show Three Boys from Pasadena: A Tribute to Helmut Newton, conceived and curated by June Newton, opened at the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin.
David Fahey, co-owner of the Fahey/Klein Gallery, also appears and shares personal videos and photographs of Newton taken at the photographer’s favorite Los Angeles haunt, the Chateau Marmont hotel. Over the course of his 36-year career, Fahey has introduced and exhibited well over 500 artists, taught the history of photography and collaborated on the production of over 45 fine art photography publications.
About Helmut Newton
Born Helmut Neustädter in 1920 to a well-to-do Berlin family, Newton purchased his first camera at 12 and as a teenager apprenticed with noted German theatrical photographer Yva (Else Simon). Due to the passing of the anti-Semitic Nuremberg Laws in 1935, his father was briefly interned in a concentration camp. In 1938 Newton’s parents were forced to flee to Chile; and the 18-year-old Newton traveled alone to Singapore.
In 1940 Newton was interned by British authorities as an “enemy alien” and shipped to Australia, where he was placed in a camp from 1940 to 1942. He was released to serve in the Australian Army until the end of the war, gaining Australian citizenship in 1945 and changing his name to Newton. Finally a free agent, he opened a photography studio in Melbourne and met his wife, June Browne. She went on to play an integral role in Newton’s career: she modeled for him, curated his exhibitions, and edited his books (including the three publications the MFAH exhibition is based on). She also became a photographer herself, shooting under the pseudonym Alice Springs.
During the 1950s Newton shot for British and Australian Vogue and settled in 1961 in Paris, where Newton joined French Vogue. As American Vogue editor Anna Wintour states in the exhibition catalogue, Newton’s work went on to be “synonymous with Vogue at its most glamorous and mythic.” Newton helped transform fashion photography from a mere photographic report of current styles to an alluring presentation with mise-en-scène and a narrative. In addition to his magazine work, Newton was much sought-after for commissions by a variety of institutions, from fashion houses and jewelry designers to car manufacturers. In many cases, Newton would be on a professional shoot and adjust the shots to become more sexually suggestive, adding these second “takes” to his personal body of work.
The Helmut Newton Foundation was established in Berlin in 2003. Newton died in January 2004 at 83.
Photograph: Helmut Newton, Australian, born Germany, 1920-2004 Rue Aubriot, Paris Collections from the series White Women. 1975. Chromogenic print. Collection of the Estate of Helmut Newton. © Estate of Helmut Newton