Iconic fashion photographer Helmut Newton gets a major retrospective, opening this weekend in Berlin
Helmut Newton. Legacy was originally scheduled to coincide with the photographer’s 100th birthday but was postponed a year due to the pandemic.
- Dalia Al-Dujaili
- 27 October 2021
“Prolific” and “widely imitated” claimed The New York Times, German-Australian fashion photographer Helmut Newton was a Vogue favourite and an iconoclast within the world of high fashion. Now, the Helmut Newton Foundation invites visitors to see not only his many prolific images but also experience more “surprises” that lay in store.
Newton established his style during the swinging 60s in Paris. The fashion of the time, such as that of André Courrèges – one of the inventors of the mini-skirt and go-go boot – is documented in the images of Newton. He looked to bend the conventions of photography within the world of fashion which he found sometimes stifling. As one of the most often published photographers, the foundation hopes that, following intensive research in the foundation’s archives, “forgotten” photographs of historic celebrity and couture culture that are coming to light in the exhibition will continue Newton’s legacy of surprising, shocking, and enchanting viewers.
Chronologically tracing the life of the Berlin-born photographer, Matthias Harder, the foundation’s curator, wants to display around 300 works depicting the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Cindy Crawford and Carla Bruni, as well as shoots for Prada, Thierry Mugler, and Calvin Klein, with half of these images being shown for the first time. As well as lesser-known aspects of Newton’s work, such as his unconventional fashion photographs which span decades and reflect the zeitgeist of each cultural era. Polaroids and contact sheets complement works in the exhibit, aiming to give insight into Newton’s creative process as well as special publications, archival material, and quotes from the photographer.
Newton’s wife, June Newton, who was also known as Alice Springs, will also receive a special exhibition in June’s Room. Springs met Newton when she was modelling for him and after their marriage, she became a respected and renowned photographer in her own right. June Newton became the foundation’s president after the passing of her husband and has also since passed away in April 2021.
Taschen will release an extensive catalogue to accompany the exhibition. Helmut Newton. Legacy will run from 31 October 2021 – 22 May 2022 at the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin.
Alice Springs: Helmut Newton, Hollywood, 1996 (Copyright © Helmut Newton Estate, courtesy of Helmut Newton Foundation)
About the Author
Dalia joined It’s Nice That as a news writer in July 2021 after graduating in English Literature from The University of Edinburgh. She's written for various indie publications such as Azeema and Notion, and ran her own magazine and newsletter platforming marginalised creativity.